Electric car owners will soon be able to travel almost all of Queensland’s east coast for free

Queensland’s environment minister Steven Miles. Picture: Twitter/@Energex

Electric cars owners in Queensland will soon be able to claim a perk not even Tesla owners can claim any more – unlimited free rides.

The Queensland Government this week announced it will dot more than 1600km of highway between the Gold Coast and Cairns with fast-charging stations.

Known as the Electric Super Highway, it will be the world’s longest in a single state, according to the Queensland Government.

Phase one of the project will run through 18 towns and cities and will operational “in the next six months”, according to Queensland’s environment minister Steven Miles.

“They will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway so we can encourage as many people as possible to start using them,” he said.

So yes, at some stage the government will introduce a payment system. New Tesla owners in Australia now get just 400kWh of power for free per year – about enough for 1600km.

After that, Australian customers are charged $0.35 per kWh for supercharges exceeding the free limit. Tesla said the shift away from unlimited free charging in the US was necessary due to drivers parking at stations for far longer than was necessary.

Miles quoted a figure from a recent survey claiming 50 per cent of Queenslanders are consider buying some form of electric car in the next two years.

Miles promised the power for the chargers will be “clean”.

“EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy,” he said.

The chargers will be located at Cairns, Tully, Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Carmila, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Miriam Vale, Childers, Maryborough, Cooroy, Brisbane, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Springfield, Gatton and Toowoomba.