The Queensland parliament is now host to three new electric vehicle charging stations that the Palaszczuk government says are a step towards ensuring the state legislature is prepared for an electric vehicle future.
It is understood to be some of the first, if not the first, electric vehicle chargers installed at a state parliament building in Australia.
The chargers were unveiled by Queensland minister for energy, renewables and hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, on Tuesday.
“These chargers mark another step forward in the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy to encourage greater take-up of electric vehicles (EVs) in Queensland,” de Brenni said. “With more than a thousand new EVs registered last year, we know more Queenslanders are now focused on the impact their vehicle has on our state’s carbon emissions.
“Queenslanders also expect government to lead by example, and that’s exactly what we have done with the installation of these 7kW AC chargers at the Parliamentary Annexe.”
De Brenni said that it was crucial for governments to actively support the uptake of electric vehicles, and that the Queensland government had felt the need to step in to show leadership, given the lack of interest in electric vehicles being shown by the Morrison government at a federal level.
“For too long, the Morrison Government has been driving with the handbrake on while Australia falls further behind countries like the United States, China and Norway in EV uptake,” de Brenni said.
“That needs to change in tonight’s Federal Budget. We know Coalition MPs are tearing themselves apart over tax exemptions and other incentives, but it’s high time the Prime Minister pulls their heads in and delivers some real solutions.”
The three 7kW chargers have been installed by CS Energy and are designed to provide top-up charging for those driving electric vehicles to parliament house. This will include Labor backbencher Linus Power, who owns a Nissan e-van.
“In 30 minutes, they can add enough charge to drive a typical EV 50 kilometres – comfortably getting me to Jimboomba, Park Ridge or Yarrabilba,” Power said. “Queensland is also home to the longest electric super highway in a single state, with 31 fast-charging sites getting you from Coolangatta to Cairns.”
“The Sunshine State continues to lead the nation in rooftop solar, and by supporting EV uptake, we’re also helping soak up our excess solar generated by Queenslanders. What we need to see are incentives that make EVs more affordable and accessible on the Australian market.”
De Brenni said that the Queensland government had been working to increase the use of electric vehicles in the government’s vehicle fleet, and in 2018 committed to doubling the size of its fleet year on year.
“By year’s end, 144 vehicles driven by our TAFE teachers, palliative care nurses and other frontline staff will be low or emissions free,” de Brenni said.
A group of federal parliamentarians, including cross-benchers Zali Steggall, Helen Haines and Rebekha Sharkie, recently called on the Morrison government to install similar charging stations at federal parliament in Canberra.
Several state governments have made commitments to increase the use of electric vehicles in their public vehicle fleets.
The ACT govenrment recently unveiled Australia’s first fleet of hydrogen fuelled vehicles, which will be used by the territory’s public servants and fuelled by Australia’s first public hydrogen refuelling station. The Queensland government is set to follow, having placed an order for five Hyundai Nexo hydrogen vehicles.