Essay by Eric Worrall
City based greens, like the Lord Mayor of Sydney, think Australia is electric vehicle ready, that all people need is a little help to make the transition. The reality is very different.
EVs will not stop climate change, but we must help motorists make the shift
Lord mayor of Sydney
February 20, 2023 — 5.00am
If we are to stop dangerous runaway climate change, we need to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible. Lowering transport emissions – currently around 20 per cent of all our emissions – will be crucial to this task.
We can’t expect electrification of vehicles to be the silver bullet. If we simply swap internal combustion vehicles for EVs we’ll have done more to save the car industry than the planet.
That’s why our first priority is creating a city for walking, cycling and public transport – this is the most effective way to reduce emissions from transport. We must improve accessibility while reducing the amount of driving that is necessary.
Of course, some people are not able to walk, ride a bike or use public transport easily, and we will continue to need service and delivery vehicles. Electrification of high-impact fleets and private vehicles will help complete the journey to net zero transport.
There are obvious barriers to this, not least of which is the sheer cost of electric vehicles. We need federal and state governments to introduce more stringent fuel and emissions standards for vehicles to facilitate the increased availability, affordability and diversity of electric vehicles in Australia. Costs will also go down as technology and scale of production improves
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/evs-will-not-stop-climate-change-but-we-must-help-motorists-make-the-shift-20230219-p5clmu.html
The picture at the top of the page was taken a few days ago by my satnav. Last weekend, on a whim, I decided to do a big country drive, and visit the town of Biggenden.
Biggenden is well worth a visit – one of the friendliest places in Australia.
But getting there is a real challenge. The roads I had to drive to reach this friendly town were an absolute disgrace.
Maryborough, the town featured at the start of the video, is a tourist town, the birthplace of P.L.Travers, author of Mary Poppins. One of Australia’s showpiece country towns.
Unfortunately the satnav erased some of my best clips. I encountered far worse roads than the video above.
My point is, I was driving a heavy off-road vehicle, but I still had to slow down, to avoid damaging the vehicle suspension – the roads were that bad. And there is nothing especially bad about the roads I happened to use. I wasn’t looking for bad roads. Outside cities and heavily populated rural regions, and a handful of major motorways connecting the cities, most of the roads are bad.
Imagine trying to drive an EV along such roads?
Batteries don’t like being jolted and shaken. At the very least, I suspect you could look forward to a significant reduction in battery life, and some major repair bills.
These are not the worst roads Australia has to offer. Biggenden is only 40 miles from the East Coast. Out West, the roads get really bad.
I could imagine grudgingly accepting an EV, if I never wanted to drive outside of big cities like Sydney. But the idea of driving an EV along typical Australian country roads is a joke. Even if there was a charging station on every corner, the ongoing maintenance and repair cost for that low slung weight bearing suspension, and those fragile battery packs, would be unsustainable.
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