Electric cars lead the charge in Aus and NZ

By Amy Steed
Friday, 28 July, 2017

Electric cars lead the charge in Aus and NZ

The use of electric cars is on the rise, with the Queensland government launching its first Electric Super Highway.

The highway will provide a series of fast-charging electric vehicle stations, which will be available from the Gold Coast to Cairns.

“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,” said Steven Miles, Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister.

“Electric vehicles (EV) can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders but [also] an environmentally friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy.”

Charging stations will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway, in an effort to encourage people to use them.

EV ownership rates around the world are increasing, largely due to significant advances in battery technology and continued cost reductions in EVs.

New Zealand is looking to increase the take-up of electric cars, with its 2017 EV registrations target recently achieved five months early.

“Currently around 200 EVs are registered monthly, with a total of 4027 EVs now registered in New Zealand,” said Simon Bridges, Transport Minister.

“If registrations continue to increase, as we have seen this year, we will be on track to meet our challenging target of 64,000 EVs registered in New Zealand by the end of 2021.”

In May 2016, the New Zealand Government announced its Electric Vehicles Program, a wide-ranging package of measures to encourage the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. The target is to double the fleet each year, reaching 64,000 EV registrations by the end of 2021.

Both private and public sector organisations are helping uptake by choosing EVs over conventional petrol or diesel vehicles for their fleets. Over the past year there has been an increase in businesses opting for EVs as non-passenger vehicles, including light vans for food delivery, public transport and refuse trucks.

The most recent Queensland Household Energy Survey showed that 50% of Queenslanders would consider an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regenerative braking hybrid when purchasing a new car in the next two years.

The majority of survey participants said improvements to public fast-charging infrastructure would also entice them to purchase an EV.

The locations of the fast-charging stations across Queensland include Cairns, Tully, Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Carmila, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Miriam Vale, Childers, Maryborough, Cooroy, Brisbane, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Springfield, Gatton and Toowoomba.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/pagadesign

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