The Queensland government says it plans to double the numbers of electric vehicles in its government fleet every year, as part of a strategy aimed at reducing its own emissions, and making more affordable electric vehicles available to Queenslanders in the form of a second hand market.
The plan is part of a wider statewide “The Future is Electric” strategy by the Queensland government which is looking at how best to transition to the clean energy transport options.
Sally Noonan, chief economist for the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, outlined the plans on Friday at the Australian Electric Vehicle Association Conference being held today in Brisbane, and suggested that the target may be increased,
Noonan is a convert to electric vehicles, and says the day she bought an electric bike “changed her life”.
“Electric vehicles are going through a monumental, exponential increase in appeal,” she says.
The Queensland government is interested in an electric vehicle strategy to not only lower transport emissions, which account for 14 per cent of total emissions, but also to improve public health, and to provide cheaper fuel.
The Queensland government is implementing a number of strategies, to address the main barriers such as limited awareness of the new EV technologies, limited charging infrastructure causing “range anxiety” and the higher upfront cost and limited range of EV models available to Australians.
For the latter reason, she says, the Queensland government has decided to double fleet EV numbers every year, to increase buying power and encourage carmakers to bring cheaper models to market so that a readily available second hand EV market will allow greater access to affordable EVs for everyday Queenslanders.
While the initial numbers are modest – 16 have been purchased last year and another 32 this year (including, The Driven has learned, 14 of the soon-to-be released Hyundai Ioniq EVs. The plan it to double that uptake every year for for yours, but could revise that target as costs come down.
“We very confident that those goals will be well and truly surpassed as more affordable vehicles come on to the market,” Noonan says.
Queensland is leading the way when it comes to electric vehicles strategies in Australia – It already has a 17 plug electric vehicle superhighway running from the Gold Coast to Cairns, which Noonan says has been a “roaring” success.
Queensland has since dedicated $2.5 million to provide infill stations and extend infrastructure westward,” she says.
Queensland has a long term target to reach zero emissions in transport by 2050, and has interim goals of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and cut emissions by 30 percent below 2005 CO2 levels by 2030.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.