Driving into the future with Australia’s electric highways.
Across Australia, state governments are embracing electric vehicles (EVs) and attempting to outdo one another with their ambitions for the longest and fastest charging network.
Australia is in fact home to the world’s longest EV charging network in a single state (Queensland), but with our habit for interstate rivalry, two other states are now nipping at their heels to take this crown.
This competition between the states is ultimately to EV drivers’ benefit. State government appetite to surpass their rivals is resulting in an accelerated charging network roll out, and for EV owners, an opportunity to say farewell to range anxiety for good.
While Australia’s EV highways for battery electric vehicles (BEV) are well advanced, plans for highways for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are also starting to emerge backed by sizeable government support.
Three states in particular are attempting to outdo one another on the EV ‘super highway’ front for both BEV and FCEV – New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. At this point all are contenders, so who will ultimately take the prize?
Let’s look at some of the electric highways taking shape across Australia and the plans by progressive governments to secure top spot in EV charging.
The Queensland Electric Super Highway is the world's longest electric super charger highway in a single state.
The highway extends from Coolangatta to Port Douglas with 31 locations in operation. A further 24 sites, predominately in central and western Queensland, are under construction and progressively coming online, due for completion in mid-2023.
Changing tack to hydrogen now, the Hume Highway will be transformed into a hydrogen highway for zero emission trucks over the coming years.
The NSW and Victorian Governments have joined forces to fund a hydrogen refuelling network along the Hume Highway, connecting Sydney and Melbourne.
The $20 million Hume Hydrogen Highway (HHH) initiative will see at least four refuelling stations and 25 hydrogen-powered trucks in operation by 2025.
A minimum of two stations in both NSW and Victoria will be built and located within Melbourne and Sydney’s urban growth boundary or within a 20km radius of the M31 Hume Highway.
The heavy transport sector is one of NSW and Victoria’s largest sources of emissions and the Hume Highway is Australia’s busiest freight network. Through the HHH, both governments intend to make this transport corridor cleaner while creating a model to be scaled and repeated in future.
In total, these actions by state governments are something for EV owners to be pleased about. They mean a greater number of charging stations that are faster too.
If you are planning a trip in your EV and want to drive one of these EV super highways, visit the PlugShare website and use their built-in trip planning capabilities (use the menu on the left-hand side).
And for some EV drive trip inspiration, check out our article on four of Australia’s great EV drives.