The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle in Remote Australia: A further case study 2016-21
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Since the beginning of the 19th century, the natural environment of the planet has been placed under the dire threat of climate change. This has been caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. GHG emissions threaten to alter the planet’s ecosystems disastrously and permanently. Statistics reveal that Australian individuals are among the highest GHG emitters on the planet, and that the transport sector contributes nearly one-fifth of the nation’s GHG emissions. It is suggested that significant reductions in Australian GHG emissions are urgently required, and it is considered that those reductions might be helped by a transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in the transport sector.
This paper looks at the consumption of motor vehicle fuels in Australia’s transport sector and suggests how a reduction in GHG emissions might be achieved. It suggests that the electrification of Australian motor vehicles could eliminate up to 20 per cent of existing Australian GHG emissions. The paper presents further findings from a case study that was conducted on a Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) in remote Western Australia from 2016–17. That study is updated and extended in this paper to October 2021.
The paper uses published statistical data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Australian government agencies to support its findings, conclusions and suggestions for further research. It looks at the rate of transition to electric vehicles and concludes that, while the transport sector’s growing contribution to Australia’s overall GHG emissions could be significantly reduced by the transition to electric vehicles, there is some way to go. The paper suggests that there are significant economic factors inhibiting the adoption of electric vehicles in Australia. However, rising fuel prices could encourage the transition away from vehicles powered by environmentally damaging internal combustion engines towards electric vehicles in Australia.
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