A new study shows that electric vehicles can be used in even the most remote areas of Australia, providing new hope for how the technology can be spread to the most remote parts of the world. According to the study, the vast majority of residents, or 93%, could travel to essential services in even the most basic electric vehicles currently available on the Australian market without stopping to recharge.
According to a new study from The Australian National University, electric vehicles can travel the distances required to reach essential services in remote and regional Australia (ANU).
According to co-author Dr. Bjorn Sturmberg, the findings show that using electric vehicles in remote communities is more feasible than previously thought.
"We looked at the distances between people's homes and the nearest "service hub" towns – places where they might go to do their shopping, for example," Dr Sturmberg explained.
"The vast majority of residents, or 93%, could make those trips with even the most basic electric vehicles currently on the Australian market. That's without stopping to charge along the way."
Given this, Dr. Sturmberg believes there is no reason to exclude our remote communities from the discussion.
"We must do better; electric vehicles should not be relegated to the "too difficult basket." If remote and regional communities are the last to be left driving diesel vehicles, it is an inequitable and unfair path forward, especially given that they will be among the hardest hit by catastrophic climate change "Sturmberg stated.
"Yes, the barriers are obvious: long distances and unpaved roads. However, the advantages are equally obvious. It is difficult and costly to transport diesel to these communities, and electric engines are simpler and more robust than fuel engines."
Dr. Francis Markham, co-author, added that there are some limitations to what we know and aspects that require further investigation.
"For example, we still don't have clear data on the effect of unsealed roads or different conditions on the effective range of electric vehicles," said Dr. Markham.
"Furthermore, data on the performance of electric vehicles in extreme heat is still scarce. We are confident, however, that electric vehicles have a place in regional and remote Australia."
According to the researchers, one of the most important issues we must address in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change is transportation.
"The transport sector accounts for 25% of global emissions and more than 18% of Australia's greenhouse gas pollution," Dr. Sturmberg said.
"It must rapidly decarbonize, and electric vehicles will play a critical role in that decarbonization."