Electric vehicles can handle the distances required to travel to essential services in remote and regional Australia, a new study from The Australian National University (ANU) has shown. The open-access research has been published in Australian Geographer.
… the adoption of EVs in Australia has been slow by international standards, and what policies do exist tend to focus on incentivising uptake among urban residents with the means to afford new technologies, potentially leaving remote communities in the ‘too hard basket’.
In this study, we assess the feasibility of EVs for communities in remote Australia using Geographic Information System analysis of travel distances between communities and service hub towns utilising present-day EV specifications and charging technologies.
We show that, while EV travel is often not currently feasible for trips to large service hub towns using low-range vehicles, over 99% of communities and residents would be able to travel to their nearest small service hub town with existing long-range EVs. This suggests that while the barriers to the electrification of transport in remote communities are significant, they are not insurmountable and are deserving of consideration in national and state policy developments in the deployment of charging infrastructure.—Demaria et al.
Co-author Dr Francis Markham noted there are some limits to what we know, and aspects that need further 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. 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.—Dr Markham
Keigan Demaria, Björn C. P. Sturmberg, Brad Riley & Francis Markham (2022) “Exploring the feasibility of electric vehicle travel for remote communities in Australia,” Australian Geographer doi: 10.1080/00049182.2022.2086720