Electric vehicles can handle the distances required to travel to essential services in remote and regional Australia, according to new research from the Australian National University (ANU).
According to co-author Dr. Björn Sturmberg, the results show that the use of electric vehicles in remote communities is more feasible than expected.
“We analyzed the distances between people’s homes and the nearest ‘service centers’—where they can go, for example, to shop,” Dr. Sturmberg said.
“The vast majority of residents, or 93 per cent, could make these journeys even in the shorter range electric vehicles currently available in the Australian market. That’s without the need to recharge on the go.”
Dr. Sturmberg said that with this in mind, there is no excuse for leaving our remote communities out.
“We need to do better – electric cars should not remain in the too-heavy basket. It is an unfair and unjust way forward for remote and regional communities to be the last to drive diesel cars, especially as they will be among those most affected by catastrophic climate change ” said Dr. Sturmberg.
“Yes, the barriers are obvious – long distances, open roads. But the advantages are equally obvious. It’s difficult and expensive to get diesel to these communities, and electric motors are simpler and more durable than gasoline ones.”
Co-author Dr. Francis Markham added that there are some limitations to what we know and aspects that need further study.
“For example, we still don’t have clear data on the effect of open roads or different conditions on the effective range of electric vehicles,” Dr Markham said.
“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.”
According to the researchers, transport is one of the key issues we need to address to limit the worst effects of climate change.
“The transport sector is responsible for 25 per cent of global emissions and more than 18 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution,” Dr Sturmberg said.
“It needs to decarbonise quickly – and electric cars will be an important part of that decarbonisation.”