news The Queensland Government is developing a strategy aimed to “encourage and facilitate” electric vehicle (EV) uptake, according to the state’s Energy Minister, Mark Bailey.
The Minister’s statements coincided with the official release of a new analysis (pdf) by the Beyond Zero Emissions think tank, which sets out how Australia can reduce greenhouse emissions by shifting to the use of electric vehicles.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to a renewable energy future and its important role in addressing climate change and we’ll be looking closer at this report as we develop policies around electric vehicles and our low carbon future,” said Bailey.
“EVs offer a low emissions transport solution, particularly when recharged only from renewable energy. Even when using electricity from the existing grid, these vehicles are significantly more carbon friendly than the average car,” he said at the report’s launch at University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane.
“The report identifies that switching as little as 2% of Queensland’s car fleet to electric vehicles (charged from renewable sources) could generate significant savings – potentially up to 675 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year,” he said.
The Minister revealed that he had recently met with Tesla representatives and visited the firm’s factory in Fremont, California.
“Those discussions confirmed my view that EVs, and the batteries on which they are built, will play an important role in our clean energy future,” he said.
Bailey said the State Government had delivered on an “important” election commitment by establishing an independent expert panel earlier this year to find a “credible” means for the state to meet a target of sourcing 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030.
“The panel is made up of energy, environmental and business leaders and is on target to deliver their report by the end of the year,” he said.
The Queensland Government is also working with local energy businesses to deliver an “electric vehicle super highway” that will provide fast chargers “from the Gold Coast to Cairns”, the Minister added. This could enable people with electric vehicles to drive the length of the state knowing that they will be able to recharge at points along the way.
Bailey said the State Government’s commitment to seeing the technology developed further in Queensland saw it award Brisbane-based firm Tritium a $2.5 million investment to support development of their fast charging technology.
Pointing out that residential solar is now the state’s second largest power generator – with over 400,000 solar rooftops and over 1500 megawatts of installed capacity – Bailey said: “EVs can provide an energy storage solution for these homes and help us turn the Sunshine State into the Solar State”.
Image credit: Tesla