Teslas and their like may be increasingly popular in cities like Canberra, but Australia will continue to lag far behind on electric vehicle take-up until ways are found to charge in the bush.
New research from the ANU shows our most isolated communities are being left behind on EVs and the supporting infrastructure, right when surging petrol prices are hitting hardest.
Dr Bjorn Sturmberg's has lead the research into the viability of remote Australians utilising electric vehicles, and found while there are significant barriers "they are not insurmountable".
In 2021 electric vehicles only made up 2 per cent of new passenger vehicle sales in Australia compared to Norway's 72 per cent.
"Our research is focusing on residents in remote communities in northern Australia and assessing feasibility for their essential services which they get from hub towns for their banking, shopping and healthcare.
"These are the communities that have shouldered very high cost of living due to high fuel prices and high cost of transport." That's why Dr Sturmberg says there is no excuse for putting remote communities into the too hard basket.
What we need to do is make electric vehicles a convenient option.- Dr Bjorn Sturmberg
"We have done quite well at deploying charging stations along the east coast but what we need to do is make electric vehicles a convenient option for remote Australians."
By establishing charging stations in towns such as Tennant Creek he said this would enable remote Australians to drive 300 kilometres, do their shopping while charging their vehicle another 300 kilometres to drive home.
"What they have really optimised is being able to charge your electric vehicle from 10 per cent to 80, up to 400 kilometre range in 20 minutes which is very convenient for road trips or trips to the shops."
Although Dr Sturmberg said the study was relatively simple and didn't consider the impact of hot temperatures and unsealed roads on electric vehicles in rural Australia.
"Categorically it's not infeasible for remote communities to electrify their vehicles in step with plans to electrify vehicles across regional and urban Australia." The government expects electric vehicles to make up at least 70 per cent of new vehicle sales and approximately 30 per cent of all vehicles by 2040.
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