I fail to see why standing around for hours waiting for a charge isÂ desirable. While there are three fifths of five eights of stuff allÂ electricÂ cars driven by smug people it is all fine and dandy, but as soon as you have to start queuing for a charge it will be the death of them.
Then of course there is the simple fact that they won’t solve suburban transport issues at all, in fact they will make them worse:
Electric vehicles have been touted as the dream technology to solve our suburban transport challenges and rescue us from oil dependence and environmental threats. Yet technology use occurs in a social context. Almost no discussion of electric vehicles has addressed the uneven suburban social patterns among which electric vehicles might be adopted.
TheÂ evidenceÂ that my colleagues Neil Sipe, Terry Li and I have assembled suggests the socio-economic structure of Australian suburbia, in combination with the distribution of public transport infrastructure, constitutes a major barrier to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, especially among the most car-dependent households.
Relying on electric vehicles as a solution to energy and environmental problems may perpetuate suburban social disadvantage in a period of economic and resource insecurity.
The people most affected by poor transport options would be even more affected by a transition to gayÂ electricÂ cars.
It makes sense that households who are most car dependent and least able to afford higher fuel prices would be the most eager to switch to an electric car. But, it turns out, the social structure of Australian suburbia means these groups are poorly placed to lead such a transition.
In our study of Brisbane we created datasets linking vehicle fuel efficiency with household socio-economic status.Â In our analysis, high vehicle fuel efficiency, including hybrids, serves as a proxy for future electric vehicles. We linked motor vehicle registration data with theÂ Green Vehicle datasetÂ on fuel efficiency, plus travel and socio-economic data from the ABS Census.
Our analysis builds a rich picture of how the spatial distribution of vehicle efficiency intersects with suburban socio-spatial patterns, using Brisbane and Sydney as case studies.
We found that the average commuting distance increases with distance from the CBD while average fuel efficiency of vehicles declines. So outer suburban residents travel further, in less efficient vehicles, than more centrally situated households. Outer suburban residents are also likely to be on relatively lower incomes than those closer in.
The result is those living in the outer suburbs have relatively weaker socio-economic status but are paying more for transport. For example, one-third of the most disadvantaged suburbs in greater Brisbane also have the most energy-intensive motor vehicle use.
A socially equitable transition to highly fuel efficient or electric vehicles ought to favour those with the highest current exposure to high fuel prices. Yet our research finds itâs not likely to happen.
What a dilemma for the green taliban, who are in reality a bunch of socialists. They insist on moving toÂ electricÂ this andÂ electricÂ that, but in doing so isolate and perpetuate the poverty trap, which of course would lead them to claiming the poor needÂ subsidisedÂ cars…and on it would go.