Queensland’s EV Super Highway To Almost Double Charger Locations

artist's impression of an ev charger at Airlie beach

AI artist’s impression

Queensland will add 44 EV chargers in more than 30 towns, co-funded by $10 million from the state government and several charger operators.

The five companies will match the government’s funding. Construction will occur over the next 18 months, with all EV chargers expected to be in place by the end of 2024.

Last Thursday, Minister for Transport Mark Bailey announced that Evie Networks, ENGINE, the NRMA, the RACQ and Tesla are the partners for this round of the Queensland Electric Super Highway, part of the state’s $55 million Zero Emissions Vehicle Strategy.

With EV registrations in the state passing 20,000, the government said, EV drivers need confidence “road tripping through regional Queensland”.

Sales of EVs nationally approached 40,000 in 2022, and charger queues are becoming problematic in regional towns. In January, the ABC described the problems being experienced in regional NSW.

The government said since the first Super Highway site opened in 2017, there have been more than 106,000 charging sessions, removing around 2841 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“This will nearly double the amount of Government funded charging sites, expanding the facilities into regional areas”, Bailey said.

 

“By the time the new stations are up and running, our State will have one of the widest spread charging networks in the country”.

In the previous Phase 3 round of the Super Highway, 24 fast chargers were added, bringing the total number of chargers to 55. Last May, the government announced 31 charge stations would be built in Western Queensland.

The EV Council says that in December 2023, there were 4943 chargers Australia-wide in 2392 locations, up more than 1500 from December 2021.

If you plan on driving across Australia, the Public EV Charger Locations Map provides a full overview of both DC fast charger and Supercharger locations.

The new chargers will be in Agnes Water (multiple), Airlie Beach (multiple), Alpha, Atherton, Biloela, Bowen, Bundaberg (multiple), Cairns (multiple), Calliope, Coochin Creek, Dalby (multiple), Gayndah, Gladstone, Goomeri, Gympie, Hervey Bay (multiple), Ingham (multiple), Mackay (multiple), Maroochydore, Maryborough, Mitchell, Monto, Moranbah, Nanango, Ormeau, Palmview, Pentland, Rockhampton (multiple), Toowoomba (multiple), Townsville (multiple), Tully, Warwick, and Yandina.

Got an EV and need to get your head around EV Charging: speeds, connectors and day-to-day practicalities? Then Finn’s ‘EV Charging 101‘ is everything an Australian EV owner needs to know about charging at home and on the go.

About Richard Chirgwin

Joining the SolarQuotes blog team in 2019, Richard is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing, science and solar. When not writing for us, he runs a solar-powered off-grid eco-resort in NSW’s blue mountains. Read Richard's full bio.

Comments

  1. This to me is where the disconnect between tha government push toward EV cars and trucks lies. Wow doubled by 44. so 88 charging stations in Qld.
    Petrol vehicles have a longer range.
    In Queensland in 2020 there were 1596 fuel stations. To fill up a vehicle takes 2-3 minutes. To charge a vehicle takes 15 on supercharge and not all vehicles are currently capable. But let’s pretend they are. So 5 times longer.
    So if electric vehicles had the same range and we know they do not. And the average petrol station has 6 pumps. We need 6 x 1596 x 5 charging points in Brisbane alone, additional parking at them for the customers waiting, a coffee shop or restaurant for them while they wait, and a psychiatrist for the mental chaos. Let’s call it 50,000 charging points in Queensland alone. Not yet, because not everyone has gone electric. But to give everyone the same experience, that’s the level of infrastructure change that needs to happen. If we say an electric vehicle has half the range of a petrol or diesel vehicle, that’s now 100,000 charging points. Just in Queensland.
    This is basic maths. It’s unfortunate no-one seems to be capable of doing it.
    If the UK experience is anything to go by, there will be a lot of charging stations not working too.
    Perhaps the government agencies who have already installed charging points in all of the government buildings could make them accessible to us all. This would instantly give more than the doubling of charging stations at no cost.

    • Finn Peacock says

      Norm, are you forgetting that 95% of EV charging is done at home?

      • Only because at present no-one is taking these for a drive past 100km at present. In the new world of electrification you need electric fuel station equivilance. While we might be happy to fuel up at home overnight, that’s not going to be a practical solution for the end game. Unless there is significant infrastructure put in place, it’s going to be difficult to get there.
        What will the end game look like? Could I charge others to use my charger without having to be part of a fuel company controlled scheme?
        There are several electricity co-op’s appearing. That could be part of the solution or it could turn into a mess. There’s currently no master plan from the government so we can move forward in a general direction. If the Qld master plan is to pay $500,000 dollars per charging station, that’s going to be expensive. In real life, I wouldn’t accept someone parking a Mercedes outside my door and saying you need this, here’s the bill. But that seems to be what happens on a regular basis with decisions made by others on our behalf.
        Personally, I’ll be buying an electric van and putting solar panels on the roof as a range extender.

        • Plenty of people are driving their EVs beyond 100km, not sure where that statistic is coming from? Finn is right, 95% of charging will be done at home, which means for the 5% that is done elsewhere you need 1/20 of the pumps you do now – 1/7th if you factor in the charge time vs fill time (which will only get narrower as the tech improves).

        • Huh? I regularly do a 400km round trip. I charge up at home (mix of solar and off-peak grid), drive, and return home with between 10-15% available. No waiting at a charging station, no stress. But I do have to charge it up at home for the next trip. Not sure where you are getting your information from…..

          • How much does the car you are driving cost? Could an average person afford to buy one? If your solution does not meet the budget of an average person, it’s not reality.
            Put your cards on the table face up.

      • Finn, this is a fallacy. The main reason that 95% of EV charging is done at home is because the network of EV chargers is so appallingly bad.

        We have an EV and we never use it for anything except commuting for this reason. We are very diappointed at the glacial rollout of the EV charging network in Australia.

        Not only is the network appallingly limited, but the number of chargers at each location is quite frankly a joke. So often when we look for one, they are already being used, or fully charged EVs are parked in them, or they’re broken, or the carpark they’re in closes at 6pm, or there isn’t one withing walking distance of where we need to go.

        We’ve given up on trying to take our EV anywhere except within range of home.

        Imagine if you could only fill your car up with petrol at home and you had half the range! This is the comparision that should be being used.

        Unless this situation changes rapidly the impetus for the uptake of EVs will be much slower than it should be – the word is out – it’s too hard to charge your EV away from home and $60k-$100k is a lot to pay for a home > work shuttle bus.

        • Finn Peacock says

          https://twitter.com/Pablos_RoundUp/status/1665795852877832192

          I’m astonished at how many people think long-distance road trips are impossible in an EV.

          • You’re missing the point Finn.

            It’s not about a ‘long trip’ between major capitals. Sure you can drive from Sydney to Melbourne, but is this 2023, not 2013.

            The real problem is all the side trips you can’t do. The uncertainty of being able to find a charger when and where you need one. The planning required for a trip even within the capital cities! let alone outside of the cities.

            We live in Canberra which has the fasted EV take up of any Australian city, yet our experience here is that the inconvenience of having to find, wait for, risk not having access to, the few EV chargers, often in frankly weird locations across Canberra, means we drive our ICE car for anything except basic commuting.

            Great that you’re picking up a Tesla. Good luck if you want to use it like an ICE car.

            The whole reason for owning a car is the freedom it allows. Currently the EV charging network in Australia is killing that.

            Until the EV charging network is larger than the petrol station network (it needs to be larger because of the amount of time you spend waiting for your car to charge), I predict the uptake of EVs will stall as more people report how inconvenient it is to own one.

    • Geoff Miell says

      Norm,
      Wow doubled by 44. so 88 charging stations in Qld.

      From little things, big things grow!

      Petrol vehicles have a longer range.

      That becomes irrelevant when petroleum fuels become scarce and/or unaffordable. Do you think that can’t happen? It seems to me Australia’s fuel import vulnerabilities are looking increasingly precarious.
      https://crudeoilpeak.info/another-3-year-warning-on-australias-fuel-imports-vulnerability

      Only because at present no-one is taking these for a drive past 100km at present.

      That’s news to me. My anecdotal observations suggest to me the two NRMA EV chargers located within the Lithgow Workies carpark seem to get regular use during the daytime from travelers passing through from near and far.

      Based on the evidence/data I see, many governments are effectively facilitating civilisation collapse before the end of this century, by continuing to encourage more fossil fuels. We/humanity need to stop burning carbon ASAP!

      One of the co-authors of the Global Warming in the Pipeline preprint paper, Leon Simons, tweeted on May 26 (bold text my emphasis):

      James Hansen clears up confusion about our draft paper on warming in the pipeline.

      We are not yet committed to 10°C warming, but we are also not committed to make sure that we don’t!

      There are already many signs of accelerating warming, as GHGs increase and aerosols decrease.

      https://twitter.com/LeonSimons8/status/1661741858366853123

      Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Prof Stefan Rahmstorf, tweeted on May 25 an animation showing the regions of the world projected to be no longer inhabitable for humans (purple) as global warming increases:
      https://twitter.com/rahmstorf/status/1661450321766371329

  2. 44 stations at a co-funding cost of Au$10M+10M
    or let’s do a bit of rounding and generously say Au$ HALF A MILLION PER CHARGING POINT. Does not seem like good value for the consumer. These costs have to be paid by either the user or the taxpayer. In this case the same person.

    • Robert Castles says

      In NSW all petrol stations must advertise the fuel cost that can be seen from the road. Will the same apply to EV stations, and display the charge per kw. Some st present charge over 60c / kwh which is about the same as a small petrol hatchback.

  3. Richard Courtenay says

    If you really think about it, count the number of petrol pumps, not the garages on the road from Gin Gin to Mackay and the length of time to fill the tank. now quadruple the amount of EVs that use that route and calculate how many chargers you would need to prevent line ups on busy days. I know you might charge at home but if you have a car load and possibly a camper trailer you can almost halve your expected range. Sorry not putting a more positive slant on this, I’m just hoping there is more forward planning than what there seems to be ie. Typical government, see the problem but do no forward planning.

    • allan hamblin says

      “Typical Government. See the problem but do no forward planning.”
      We live in a Democracy – a ‘Political Party’ one, so …. each plans for the most votes.
      I jusy have to agree China doesnt have that benefit – er sorry, disadvantage.

  4. Great to see all these new chargers. However, there is still no Disability access standard, nor any requirement to have accessible charging stations! I have seen people with mobility issues struggle with tight charging stations & many have no access to the pedestal for a wheelchair. Time for us to do it right.

  5. We installed a 32amp industrial 3 pin power point with 40amp built in fuse unit cost $120 using the supplied model 3 tesla mobile charger it chargers overnight on off peak power.Why can’t these be installed at road side stops even less travelled country roads power lines and transformers are wide spread, this would be a low cost way to make travelling electric super easy

    • The Level 1 chargers are already being installed around Queensland. However, I feel they are not a good option because level 1 charging takes so long. Good in an emergency (level 1 chargers: AC chargers, are good in an emergency such as a small town that might not support a DC charger, or overnight at accommodation, or carparks at supermarkets) but as a trip charger, DC charging is the only way. Even relatively slow charging cars (such as my 3yo Kona EV) only take about an hour to reach 80% charge (80% is the optimum travel charge I find).
      Lately, I have found most charge stations are working. This is an issue if there is only a single charging bay, where an outage cause real headaches. It seems the problem repairing some of the older charge stations has been resolved thank goodness.

  6. Andrew Grey says

    I would love an EV for urban use, the tyre issue or lack of it concerns me in rural areas. Currently my diesel allows me to do brisbane Sydney in one go apart from a few pee breaks

  7. Michael Paine says

    I am planning a trip from Sydney to the Snowy Mountains in a BYD Dolphin, with a claimed range of 480km (taken with a grain of salt). There are a sufficient number of fast chargers (CCS) along the way, although Canberra seems a bit light on. Cooma and Jindabyne have a couple of fast chargers.
    Anyway, my reason for posting here is to point out that I need at least six apps that require credit card details in order to use the chargers along the way, if prudent. So far it seems I need:
    NRMA (you can have an EV only account instead of memebership)
    EO (some council car parks)
    Jolt (big kerbside boxes)
    Chargefox (a variety of chargers)
    BP Pulse (some BP service stations but not Canberra)
    Evie Charging (some service stations, incl Canberra)
    Plugshare (map of locations)
    Plus the Wallbox app for Type 2 charging at home

    • Anthony Bennett says

      Thanks Michael,

      Fuelling up needs to be simple.

      I think the sooner the government mandates tap and go charging the better.

      • There needs to be at least 10% of the petrol pumps increasing urgently. Also the USA plug Tesla standard has been made official.
        I expect this to be a world standard in the next 2 years. It’s smaller and much easier to use.
        Also payment must become standard with no phone apps.
        When this happens I will buy an EV as batteries are constantly improving

  8. Michael Paine says

    {for your info Anthony)

    I have copied my list of apps needed for a road trip to my EV page and added links to the suppliers.
    https://vdrsyd.com/mp/electric_vehicles.html#ev_charging_links

    You are welcome to copy these to this blog, or maybe Finn’s EV 101

  9. Michael Paine says

    For our proposed trip with a BYD Dolphin there could be a spanner in the works (battery!). From the NRMA web page on the Mittagong charging station:
    “We have noticed a compatibility issue between BYD vehicles and Freewire (Charger #1 and #2). We are currently working with both Freewire and BYD to resolve it as soon as we can. Tritium (Charger #3) can charge BYD in the meantime. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

    Chargers 1 and 2 are the fast DC chargers! The Tritium is limited to 7kW.

    Grrr

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