Motorists traveling in electric vehicles along the Queensland coast in Australia's north will soon be able to keep their rides topped up for free, thanks to a new Electric Super Highway. Announced on Thursday, the roadway will be free to use initially, as the state government tries to encourage a shift to greener transport.

The Electric Super Highway will be the world's longest in a single state, according to the Queensland Government. It will see more than 1,000 mi (1,600 km) of coastal roadway between the cities of the Gold Coast and Cairns dotted with fast-charging stations, enabling electric vehicles to be driven from the state's southern border to its far north.

"This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low emissions future," said Queensland's Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles. "Today I'm announcing the first 18 towns and cities that make up phase one of the Electric Super Highway and will, once operational in the next six months, make it possible to drive an electric vehicle from the state's southern border to the Far North. 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."

The energy supplied through the fast-charging stations will be clean, purchased through green energy offsets and credits. Miles cited a recent survey showing 50 percent of Queensland's residents will consider buying an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regenerative braking hybrid in the next two years. Most of those participants said new fast-charging infrastructure would add further motivation.

"EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy," said Miles. "The Queensland Electric Super Highway has the potential to revolutionize the way we travel around Queensland in the future."

Source: Queensland Government