Cooroy’s the latest electric vehicle charging station on Queensland’s Electric Super Highway

Electric vehicle charging AdelaideCharging an electric vehicle.

The Sunshine Coast town of Cooroy now boasts an electric vehicle charging station on Queensland’s Electric Super Highway.

The Cooroy electric vehicle charging station is one of 18 earmarked for the highway in a bid to encourage uptake of electric vehicles. Fast, one-hour charging at the station will be available to EV motorists free of charge until the end of 2018.

Eighteen towns make up phase one of the Electric Super Highway, each equipped with fast charging stations. Ultimately it will allow people to drive from the state’s southern border to the far north in electric vehicles.

Speaking to Noosa News, Cooroy Chamber of Commerce president Danielle Taylor said proximity to the Bruce Highway made the station ideal for travellers – plus Cooroy is only 20 km from Noosa’s famous beaches.

“The electric vehicle fast charging station is a fantastic addition to Cooroy and it is really exciting to be a part of the world’s longest electric super highway,” Ms Taylor said.

Electric vehicle charging: If you build it, they will drive on it

Better infrastructure, like charging stations, is one way to boost uptake of EVs by Australians. At the moment in Australia there are only three new electric vehicle models available. These are the Tesla Models S and X and the BMW i3. The Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi iMiEV are only available second-hand after stocks ran out.

Cooroy latest stop on Queensland's Electric Super Highway

The BMW i3 is a stylish but pricey EV at $75,000.

Part of the problem is price, the main determinant of which is the battery packs. The new  model of the Nissan Leaf, expected to hit Australian shores later this year, retails at $38,500. That’s  expensive for what is basically a small, four-door hatch.

However, it has a range of 240 km, enough to carry it between stops on the completed Electric Super Highway. It’s also the most affordable of the EVs on offer in Australia. The similar-sized BMW i3 costs $75,000.

Battery costs will come down eventually, making the cars more affordable. And although electric vehicles cost more to buy, they also cost significantly less to run.  According to the Electric Vehicle Council, a fuel-powered car costs more than four times as much to run as an EV.

Another plus for EVs – you can generate your own ‘fuel’ by charging you car from your home solar and battery storage system.

From Coolangatta to Cairns on the Electric Super Highway

Motorists can drive electric vehicles all the way from Coolangatta to Cairns, and west from Brisbane to Toowoomba. That’s thanks to electric vehicle charging stations at Townsville and Carmila that opened last month.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the initial phase of the Highway was up and running.

“We now have the world’s longest electric vehicle super highway in a single state stretching all the way up our beautiful eastern coastline,” Mr Bailey said.

“This is literally electrifying news for Queenslanders and just one example of the innovative and strategic direction this state continues to take.”