Exploring the feasibility of electric vehicle travel for remote communities in Australia

Keigan Demaria, Björn C.P. Sturmberg*, Brad Riley, Francis Markham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Remote communities in Australia face unique mobility challenges that may be further complicated by the transition from Internal Combustion Engine vehicles to Electric Vehicles (EVs). EVs offer numerous advantages including lower maintenance requirements and independence from costly, dangerous and polluting petroleum imports. Yet the adoption of EVs in Australia has been slow by international standards, and what policiesdo 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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-222
    Number of pages22
    JournalAustralian Geographer
    Volume53
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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