Queensland’s state government has called for expressions of interest to build what is being billed as Australia’s first electric vehicle service station, as the first installment of a potential 1,600km network of solar powered EV fast-charging stations dotted along the Bruce Highway.
In a statement released over the weekend, the Palaszckuk government said the service station, earmarked for the Townsville suburb of Oonoonba, would cater to conventional petrol fuelled cars and EVs, with fast charging facilities that could recharge an electric vehicle in just 15-30 minutes.
As part of the incentive, local network operator Ergon Energy would offer the business owner the opportunity to lease 25kW of solar panels, while Economic Development Queensland would provide support for EV charger equipment leasing.
“Oonoonba is less than 3 kilometres from the Bruce Highway and the Townsville CBD, so is well positioned to cater for local motorists as well as those travelling along the highway,” the minister assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, said.
“Our vision is for this to be the start of an ‘electric super highway’ by facilitating fast-charging service locations for drivers travelling up and down the length of Queensland.”
“Up to two electric vehicles could charge at the same time, with an expected average charge time of 15-30 minutes,” O’Rourke said.
It is unclear whether the project will be separate from the electric super highway planned by Brisbane-based EV infrastructure company Tritium, using its world-leading Veefil fast chargers.
The Fast Cities Network – a proposed network of 12 EV fast chargers linking 430km of highway in Queensland’s south-east, and touted as Australia’s largest “electric super highway” – was launched last November, with Veefil fast chargers since installed in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
In total, the plan was for four of the 12 units to be installed in Fortitude Valley, Coorparoo and St Lucia, Brisbane, while a further eight would link popular destinations in the region, including Noosa, the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture/Burpengary, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Cararra/Southport, Coolangata/Tweed, and Byron Bay.
Back in November, Tritium said it was in the process of talking to a number of organisations about how they could become involved in the project, but was interested in hearing from any business, car club or civic association that might like to support the initiative or host a charging unit along the route.
Meanwhile, the hugely successful Queensland-made technology – which can charge an EV in as little as 10 minutes – is also being used to build an electric super highway across New Zealand, with 23 Veefil 50kW DC fast chargers shipped so far for the project.
The technology is also being supplied to California-based ChargePoint, as part of a huge deal that will see the award-winning Veefil fast charging stations installed throughout the US, including the express charging corridors on both the east and west coasts.
Elsewhere in Australia, the RAC has installed a network of 12 electric vehicle fast charging stations along a 310km stretch of Western Australian roadways connecting Perth to Augusta.