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EV charging network expands as EU petrol ban could force Aussies to go electric

Electric vehicle drivers will soon have access to more charging stations, as the Queensland government partners with Ampol to convert service stations into EV hubs.

More than 30 Australian petrol stations, including six in Queensland, will be part of the latest EV charging rollout.

The announcement follows a report by Energy Queensland, which showed that the number of EVs in the state has doubled in the previous year.

Ampol will install 360 recharging bays across Australia in the next two years.

“We’re putting a lot of time and effort into making sure we’re giving customers the opportunity to charge at the destination or at a forecourt of their choice,” Ampol chief financial officer Greg Barnes said.

“Six months ago you’d be unlikely to see two or three EVs queued up at a set of lights, and you’re now starting to see that.”

Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said there had been a “massive” uptake of electric vehicles in the state, with more than 8500 EVs registered between February 2022 and January this year, putting more than 16,700 electric cars and motorbikes on the state’s roads.

“Queensland motorists are voting with their wallets,” he said.

“They know that switching to electric saves them money. It also helps us ensure we’re able to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.”

Even though their numbers doubled in Queensland, electric vehicles made up 3.8 per cent of new car sales during 2022, according to Electric Vehicle Council figures.

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An electric vehicle charging station at Bundall, on the Gold Coast. Photo: AAP

Europe bans sale of petrol and diesel cars

Meanwhile, European Union restrictions on carbon emissions may have implications for the Australian automotive industry, with some experts predicting that Australian drivers may have no option other than to purchase an EV within the next 12 years.

The EU has formally approved measures requiring all cars sold in Europe be zero emission by 2035, with automakers needing to cut emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.

The move will effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035, placing a significant financial penalty on such vehicles, which will be more expensive and harder to find.

The EU’s measures will affect cars sold worldwide, potentially making it harder for Australia to import cars that do not meet emissions targets.

Australian Electric Vehicle Association president Chris Jones said even though some motorists may not have “cottoned on”, many car makers would stop producing cars with internal combustion engines within the next decade, before any ban.

Local buyers, he said, would have little choice but to invest in an electric vehicle for their next car.

“A lot of jurisdictions around the world have realised that 2035 is actually a pretty conservative position for ending the sale of petrol or diesel vehicles,” he said.

“The risk here is that if Australia doesn’t choose to stay in line with other similar economies like the US and Europe, we will end up aligned with developing economies and get the same vehicles they’re getting, which could mean lower safety standards.”

-with AAP

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