Feasibility of Electric Vehicles for Remote Communities in Australia

A new study performed by the Australian National University (ANU) has demonstrated the fact that electric vehicles have the potential to tackle the distances needed to travel to necessary services in Australia’s regional and remote areas.

Feasibility of Electric Vehicles for Remote Communities in Australia
Dr Bjorn Sturmberg. Image Credit: Jamie Kiston/Australian National University.

The co-author of the study Dr. Bjorn Sturmberg feels that the outcomes denote the usage of electric vehicles in remote communities as highly viable compared to what might be anticipated.

We analyzed the distances between people’s homes and the nearest ‘service hub’ towns—where they might go to the do the shopping, for example. The vast majority of residents, or 93%, could do those trips with even the lower-range of electric vehicles currently available on the Australian market. That's without needing to recharge en route.

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, Study Co-Author, Australian National University

Dr. Sturmberg stated that given this, there is no excuse for exiting the remote communities out of the discussion.

We need to do better-electric vehicles shouldn’t be left in the too hard basket. It’s an unequitable and unfair path forward if remote and regional communities are the last ones left driving diesel vehicles, especially as they will be some of the most impacted by catastrophic climate change.

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, Study Co-Author, Australian National University

Sturmberg added, “Yes the barriers are obvious—large distances, unsealed roads. But the benefits are equally obvious. It's difficult and expensive to get diesel out to these communities, and electric engines are simpler and more robust than fuel engines.”

Co-author Dr. Francis Markham added there are few limits to what one knows and ideas that require additional investigation.

For example, we still don't have clear data on the impact of unsealed roads or different conditions on the effective range of electric vehicles,” stated Dr. Markham.

Dr. Markham adds, “And information on the performance of electric vehicles in very hot conditions is still lacking. However, we are confident that electric vehicles do have a place in regional and remote Australia.”

Transport is considered to be one of the main problems required to handle and limit the worst impacts of climate change.

The transport sector is responsible for 25% of global emissions and more than 18% of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution. It must rapidly decarbonize—and electric vehicles are going to be a crucial part of that decarbonization.

Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, Study Co-Author, Australian National University

Journal Reference:

Demaria, K., et al. (2022) Exploring the feasibility of electric vehicle travel for remote communities in Australia. Australian Geographer. doi.org/10.1080/00049182.2022.2086720

Source: https://www.anu.edu.au/

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