An electric future for driving
Author: Laura Chalk
Governments and industry boost appeal of hybrid vehicles, including the construction of an electric superhighway alongside iconic Great Barrier Reef.
Twenty years after the first Prius was launched in Japan, Toyota Australia sold its 80,000th hybrid vehicle in July of this year – a milestone to be celebrated in the life of the electric car, and in the country’s sustainability journey.
Another notable milestone is the creation of an electric superhighway, an 1,800 km stretch of mostly coastal road alongside the Great Barrier Reef. As Eco News reports, it will be Australia’s first, and the world’s longest, allowing electric vehicles to travel from the Gold Coast to Cairns.
Eighteen charging stations will be placed in towns and cities along the stretch of coast. The project is set to be operational in the next 6 months and will be free for at least the first 12 months. Each station will be able to charge electric vehicles in about 30 minutes.
Brisbane-based charging station maker Tritium will supply most of the project’s charging stations, with Schneider Electric supplying the rest.
Behyad Jafari, chief executive of Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council, says that the government’s early support for the project is a signal to the market that Queensland is serious about electric vehicles.
The Queensland government’s Roads Minister Steven Miles said, “The most recent Queensland Household Energy Survey showed that 50 per cent of Queenslanders will consider an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regenerative breaking hybrid, when purchasing a new car in the next two years, and that a majority said improvements to public fast-charging infrastructure would further tempt them into purchasing an EV.”
“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,” he added.
The project comes as governments around the world seek to cut emissions by enhancing the use of electric vehicles.
The French Environment Minister says he has set the country’s carmakers the goal of not selling petrol or diesel cars by 2040. Shortly after hearing this, Britain matched the challenge.
The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have said they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centres by 2025, while India aims to sell only electric cars by 2030.
It doesn’t stop with governments, as car manufacturers rise to challenge around the world. As reported in a recent BBC article, Volvo has announced all new models will have an electric motor from 2019 – making it the first traditional carmaker to signal the end of the internal combustion engine. Aston Martin, famous for supplying James Bond’s chosen vehicle, announced it is transitioning to entirely hybrid automobiles by the mid 2020s.
With the construction of an electric superhighway sweeping one of the most iconic coast lines in the world, and vast changes being made to the industry, it seems the electric car will become the rule, rather than the exception, on roads around the world.
- Consider transitioning to an electric car. See Toyota Australia’s range here.
- Support the creation of the electric superhighway by visiting Queensland in an electric car – remember, it’s free to use for the first 12 months.
- Support car manufacturers that are leading the way in the transition to electric production. Volvo, Toyota, and find out others who are getting on board.
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
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