Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke
Townsville could soon have the first service station in Australia where drivers can fast-charge their electric vehicles using solar energy.
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O'Rourkesaid the forward-thinking initiative was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to support emerging and innovative industries.
“This is a really exciting initiative for Townsville – and could pave the way for a new era in Australia’s motoring history,” Mrs O'Rourkesaid.
“Through Economic Development Queensland and supported by Ergon Energy, we are seeking expressions of interest to build a service station at Oonoonba that has both traditional and alternative forms of energy.
“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.
“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.”
Mrs O’Rourke said the development would allow motorists to fill up their car with fuel at a standard bowser or plug their electric car including for fast-charging.
“Up to two electric vehicles could charge at the same time, with an expected average charge time of 15-30 minutes,” Mrs O'Rourkesaid.
“We understand that for small businesses, pioneering a new technology can be expensive, so we have developed a business model to help reduce costs.
“Ergon Energy is offering the business owner the opportunity to 100 per cent lease 25kW of solar panels and EDQ will provide support for EV charger equipment leasing.”
Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association CEO Mark McKenzie said this was the beginning of a revolution in fuel retail businesses to accommodate alternative forms of transport energy.
“Petrol station businesses must accommodate technological change to remain viable. Our research shows that wages are one of the three biggest costs for a typical service station operator. By incorporating solar facilities into the design of service stations, annual business costs can be reduced,” he said.
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