More electric car charging stations coming to Gold Coast but widespread EV use ‘a pipedream’

Key points:

  • 10 new electric vehicle charging stations will be installed between Coolangatta and Pimpama over the next year
  • The State Government and City of Gold Coast have each spent $350,000 on the project
  • Less than 2 per cent of cars in Australia use some form of the technology

The first of 10 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations has been installed at Broadbeach as the Gold Coast City Council pushes for the normalisation of the technology.

Mayor Tom Tate said council would charge motorists $5 for 10 minutes at the stations, which would provide about 75 kilometres worth of range.

“It’s the comfort factor that should they run low, we will have these parking stations throughout [the city where] they can top up,” Cr Tate said.

The State Government and City of Gold Coast have each contributed $350,000 towards the project.

But a motoring journalist with 40 years’ experience has warned that the widespread adoption of EVs would remain a “pipedream” unless State and Federal governments provided better incentives.

Australia ‘lagging’ behind on EV tech

Queensland infrastructure minister Steven Miles said the new charging stations would complement the 18 others between the Gold Coast and Cairns.

“Having charging stations along the Gold Coast not only incentivises future EV users, but it also encourages driving tourism along a beautiful stretch of the coast,” Mr Miles said.

Manufacturer Tritium will install the chargers within 50 kilometres of each other at Broadbeach, Coolangatta, Southport, Pimpama, Carrara, Bundall and Nerang.

“You need to have the infrastructure,” the company’s chief executive Jane Hunter said.

“It’s really hard for people to understand how they could drive if they don’t where they could charge.”

Ms Hunter said Australia was “lagging” in the adoption of electric cars, with less than 2 per cent of vehicles powered by some form of EV technology.

“Most of the developed world is at 2.5 to 5 per cent of the fleet,” she said.

In December, the Federal Government’s draft electric car strategy outlined $72 million for charging infrastructure, but offered no direct financial assistance for motorists switching from combustion engines.

Drivers have ‘range anxiety’

Motoring journalist Paul Gover said most EVs were more expensive than the petrol alternatives and that many drivers still suffer “range anxiety”.

“They’re terrific if you live in the inner city because the range is fine,” he said.

“But if you want to travel, we’re a long way form a tipping point yet of making electric work in Australia.

“People are not going to buy these things while they’re worried about running out of electricity.”

While he welcomed the additional charging stations, Gover said the nation was “still 10 years away” from the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

“It’s a pipedream at the moment — unless the Government gets out and sets up some infrastructure and gives some incentives to buy these cars.

“Australia is so far behind on this, it’s ridiculous.”


Extracted from ABC

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