Australia to Build Electric Highway Along Great Barrier Reef

 

Last week, the Australian government has revealed plans to build a new, 1800 kilometer-long electric highway on coastal roads running along the Great Barrier Reef. featuring free EV charging stations.

The project is an effort to promote EVs in Australia as countries like Britain and France move to completely ban the sales of diesel and gas-only vehicles by 2040. “This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low-emissions future,” explains Queensland State Minister (he’s like a governor) Steven Miles.

That low-emission future Miles is talking about is coming quickly, too. Just this week, the government of Great Britain said it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040, following a similar decree from France. The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens, too, have said that they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centers by as early as 2025!

 

Australia’s Electric Highway Gets Mapped


The proposed electric highway will become operational within the next six months, with eighteen towns and cities making up the first phase of the project. Once completed, the free electric charging network put into place will allow EV owners to drive from Quennsland’s southern border at Coolangatta all the way to the city of Cairns in Australia’s far north. All that work will certainly help promote the idea of EV as everyday vehicle in Australia, but it also- it’s hoped- help the local economy of Queensland. Behyad Jafari, chief executive of Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council, says the move “provides certainty to unlock investment to grow our economy and create new, high skilled jobs.”

It’s hard to say whether or not the hoped-for positive benefits will actually happen, but- with over 2 million people visiting the Great Barrier Reef each year and the criticism surrounding the local government’s response to the biggest ever coral die-off in recent history last summer, I bet the thinking is that an electric highway is something, which is better than nothing. That’s just me, though- let us know what you think in the comments, below.

 

Source | Images: Motorpasion.





About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Chris Jones

    Couple of points – The Australian Federal Government had nothing to do with this (in fact they’d probably try to do the opposite), and secondly, a state government minister is definitely not like a Governor, more like a senior bureaucrat who needs to win a popularity contest every 3 or 4 years. Full credit to Ergon (the state-owned distribution network company) who started the proposal, and to the Queensland government for backing it. This is the first instance of any government showing a serious commitment to EVs. Local councils around the country are pushing EVs too, as well as various motoring bodies around the country. The RAC of WA built Australia’s first electric highway from Perth to Augusta (12 charging stations) over two years ago!