Australia will install 18 electric vehicle fast-charging stations along a nearly 1,250-mile stretch of coastal highway in Queensland, creating one of the world’s longest EV roadways, Reuters reported.
The network, which will cost $3 million to build and open within six months, will stretch from Cairns to Coolangatta and west to Toowoomba, running parallel to the Great Barrier Reef. The charging stations will power a vehicle in 30 minutes. Drivers will be able to charge their vehicles for free for at least a year.
“This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible to board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low-emissions future,” said Steven Miles, Queensland’s environment minister.
News of Australia’s project follows several other major electric vehicle announcements made recently. Britain and France said this month they will ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars after 2040. India has pledged to sell only electric cars by 2030, and Norway has the same goal by 2025. The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens said they will ban diesel cars from city centers by 2025.
The Australian electric highway will span about the same distance as the budding “west coast electric highway” in the U.S., a network of EV charging stations that stretches from California to Washington, The Guardian reported. The Trans-Canada EV highway, the world’s longest, stretches nearly 5,000 miles from British Columbia to Nova Scotia.