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Community & Business

22 January, 2022

Electric is the future

ATHERTON is leading the charge to an electric age, with 86 electric and hybrid vehicles currently registered for the 4883 postcode as the Tablelands region begins to embrace battery power.

By Ellie Fink

Electric vehicles such as Tesla can be charged at charging points in the community or at home.

As of September 2021, 275 electric and hybrid vehicles were registered for all postcodes in the region, taking us into a generation of greener transportation. 

Mareeba has 64 electric and hybrid vehicles registered, while Koah, Kuranda and Speewah district has 43 registered. The surge for electric cars was to be expected, with popular car manufacturers across the world set to transition to produce only electric vehicles from 2025- 2030. 

With fuel prices rising and the Department of Transport and Main Roads releasing strategies for more electric access, buying an electric vehicle has become an easy and reliable option. 

Government installed public chargers can be worked with websites and apps, with the main one being the Chargefox app, allowing vehicle owners to fi nd charging points and pay online. 

On the Atherton Tablelands, there are currently no government charging stations, but through PlugShare.com, many privately-owned access points can be found. 

According to PlugShare, charging stations are at Mareeba Coffee Works, Atherton Hinterland Motel, Herberton Historical Village, Park House Yungaburra, Information Centre Yungaburra, Paronella Park at Mena Creek and Mossman Gorge. 

Atherton Hinterland Motel manager John Napier said its basic three-phase charging socket was installed after a visit from global leader in electric car production, Tesla. 

Electric charging point at the Atherton Hinterland Motel

“We had Tesla come here and visit and wanted us to be added to their data base, which we have been,” he said. “We have had about four people drop in, only one of those actually spending the night, to charge up and we just charge them the $12 for the electricity used. 

“I really hope that electric vehicles take off and that there will more places for people to be able to charge up with them having to plan trips and worry when they will run out of power.” 

To buy a new Tesla off the floor, travelling to Brisbane is the closest dealership in Queensland unless you order online, making hybrids the easiest to access in Far North Queensland. 

Hybrids allow cars to be powered by electricity and petrol, with the battery being charged when a car is breaking, idling and driving with no need to plug in to charge up. 

This differs from a Plug-in Hybrid which needs to be charged at a station, giving approximately 50km range and switching to petrol when the battery is flat. 

Mareeba Toyota and Hansen Ford dealership currently has 10 hybrid vehicles on the floor, with sales representative Drew McKenzie saying demand has increased over the last year for hybrid cars across the region. 

“Toyota uses hybrid, which seamlessly combines the power of a petrol engine with the efficiency of electric motors,” he said. 

“The demand of these vehicles is most certainly rising due to cost (of petrol), but also people are wanting to move more into greener vehicles as the time goes on. We are currently experiencing a minimum of six months’ wait for all hybrids. 

“These vehicles are very popular currently due to rising fuel cost, registration fees and of course moving forward to a greener future.” 

Those who own an electric vehicle, hybrid vehicle or hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle must now display a safety sticker in the case of an emergency. These can be ordered at https://www.mtaq.com.au/electric-vehicle-labels


CHARGING FACTS 

There are four different types of chargers – Wall plug, standard, fast and ultra-rapid 

  •  Wall plug is up to 2.3 kilowatts of power and 15 minutes of charge gets you 3km of driving 
  • Standard is up to 22 kilowatts of power and 15 minutes of charge gets you 30km of driving 
  • Fast is up to 50 kilowatts of power and 15 minutes of charge gets you 60km of driving 
  • Ultra-rapid is up to 350 kilowatts of power and 15 minutes of charge gets you 400km of driving Information provided by Chargefox.

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