This is part two of Tess’ adventures in coal land.
One of the things that I wanted to check as we travelled north to Queensland’s busiest coal port for the Gladstone Ecofest was the effect of increasing numbers of electric vehicles on the charging network. According to data supplied by Ergon Energy, the number of electric vehicles on Queensland roads has doubled since we did our trip to Winton last year. Would the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH) be crowded?
Well, yes and no.
Ironically, the only other cars we encountered at the QESH charging stations were fellow presenters for the Yeppoon and Gladstone events. Just as well, because twice our friend Rado had to lend us his blue cable so we could access the slow charger.
We also learnt that it is not wise to charge under the Moreton Bay figs at Miriam Vale QESH, as their fruit is both prized by the birdlife and also a potent laxative. Tess got a good dose of guano.
By the time we do our next trip north, the LGI EV charging station at Benaraby should be open. This innovative company taps methane from council landfill, uses it to produce electricity, and will make that available for EV charging.
One of the frequent questions we answered at the Yeppoon and Gladstone events was cost and time taken to charge. The trip was around 1400 km and cost was about $40 in electricity, which comes to 2.8 cents per kilometer traveled. Thanks, Rado, for doing the maths. As for the time, by the time we used the ablution block and then got ourselves a coffee, there was not long to wait and we were off. Still just a little longer than a petrol stop, though.
One of the most interesting questions of the trip was from councilor Cr Desley O’Grady in Gladstone. I had just finished a presentation on Global EV Uptake when she started telling me about her electric bike. She asked if there were 240 volt outlets at the QESH superchargers and if she could charge her bike. Sadly, I had to inform her that there weren’t any and if she tried to charge her bike at the Supercharger, she might blow it up.
My sense of humour gets a little weird when I am tired — thankfully, she was a good sport and came to the EV display later and we were able to chat about Teslas. Perhaps QESH ought to have a look at putting in some charging for electric bikes, after all?
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