Elec­tric servo high­way plan

Oonoonba tipped as place to start

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JANE AR­MIT­STEAD jane. ar­mit­stead@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE could be the first stop on an “elec­tric su­per high­way” with plans to de­velop a ser­vice sta­tion for elec­tric cars to recharge us­ing so­lar energy.

Min­is­ter As­sist­ing the Premier on North Queens­land Co­ralee O’Rourke is push­ing for a ser­vice sta­tion to be built at Oonoonba that has tra­di­tional and al­ter­na­tive forms of energy.

The ini­tia­tive is through Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Queens­land and Er­gon Energy and part of the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment’s plan to sup­port emerg­ing and in­no­va­tive in­dus­tries.

Ms O’Rourke said it could pave the way for a new era in mo­tor­ing history.

“Our vi­sion is for this to be the start of an ‘ elec­tric su­per high­way’ by fa­cil­i­tat­ing fastcharg­ing ser­vice lo­ca­tions for driv­ers trav­el­ling up and down the length of Queens­land,” she said.

“Oonoonba is less than three kilo­me­tres from the Bruce High­way and the Townsville CBD, so is well po­si­tioned to cater for lo­cal mo­torists as well as those trav­el­ling along the high­way.”

The de­vel­op­ment would al­low up to two elec­tric ve­hi­cles to charge at the same time with a charge time of 15- 30 min­utes.

“We un­der­stand that for small busi­nesses, pi­o­neer­ing a new tech­nol­ogy can be ex­pen­sive, so we have de­vel­oped a busi­ness model to help re- duce costs,” she said. “Er­gon Energy is of­fer­ing the busi­ness owner the op­por­tu­nity to 100 per cent lease 25kW of so­lar pan­els and EDQ will pro­vide sup­port for EV charger equip­ment leas­ing.”

Deputy Mayor Vern Veitch said there were al­ready a num­ber of out­lets to charge elec­tric cars in the city but said this is what the city needed.

“Any­thing that is push­ing to a more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly com­mu­nity has my 100 per cent sup­port,” he said. “We would need to be strate­gic where it goes so it’s use­ful for res­i­dents and for trav­ellers.”

Cr Veitch said there would need to be sim­i­lar sta­tions along the high­way. “It could add to a net­work of these sta­tions ... many elec­tric cars would barely get to Ing­ham on one charge.”

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