Queensland to host first solar-powered service station in Australia

The Queensland government wants the Sunshine state to host Australia’s first solar powered electric vehicle service station, as part of a potential 1,600km network of solar powered EV fast-charging stations dotted along the Bruce Highway.

The Palaszckuk government on the weekend called for expressions on interest to develop the project, which has been earmarked for the Townsville suburb of Oonoonba.

They said the service station would cater to conventional petrol fuelled cars as well as EVs, with fast charging facilities that could recharge an electric vehicle in just 15-30 minutes.

As part of the incentive, local network operator Ergon Energy would offer the business owner the opportunity to lease 25kW of solar panels, while Economic Development Queensland would provide support for EV charger equipment leasing.

“Oonoonba is less than 3 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 minister assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Coralee O’Rourke, said.

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

“Up to two electric vehicles could charge at the same time, with an expected average charge time of 15-30 minutes,” O’Rourke said.

It is unclear whether the project will be separate from the electric super highway planned by Brisbane-based EV infrastructure company Tritium, using its world-leading Veefil fast chargers.

The Fast Cities Network – a proposed network of 12 EV fast chargers linking 430km of highway in Queensland’s south-east, and touted as Australia’s largest “electric super highway” – was launched last November, with Veefil fast chargers since installed in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

Top image: Electric vehicle charger at UNSW, by John Rodriguez

Giles Parkinson