Electric vehicles are superior to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars in one significant way: they do not produce any emissions at the tailpipe. As such, several countries have pledged to electrify their transportation over the next couple of decades as part of a global effort to cut down on carbon emissions. However, EVs still make a small percentage of vehicles on the road and the use of those vehicles tend to be concentrated in cities and urban areas.
This is primarily because the charging infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles is mostly located in urbanized areas. Furthermore, the kind of early adopters who are likely to purchase EVs tend to live and work in urban regions. Such factors make it seem unlikely that rural regions could adopt electric vehicles in mass. But according to a recent study from the Australian National University (ANU), electric vehicles are perfectly capable of functioning in rural areas.
One factor that characterizes rural regions is long distances between homes and service hub towns. While an EV owner in California would only have to drive a couple of miles to reach the nearest charger, a driver in a rural region may have to travel several times that distance. Researchers from ANU say that contrary to what many may think, covering these distances with an EV is quite feasible.
After analyzing the distances between people’s homes and the nearest towns, study coauthor Dr. Bjorn Sturmberg reports that the researchers found that 93% of users could make those trips in low-range EVs without having to recharge them in route. He said that with this data in mind, there is no excuse for ignoring rural or remote communities when talking about EVs.
It would be unfair and unequitable if regional and remote communities were left to drive gasoline-powered cars while the rest of the country transitioned to zero-emission EVs, Sturmberg argued. Even so, he acknowledged that such regions present barriers to electric vehicle adoption such as unsealed roads and large distances. He further explained that dealing with these barriers and increasing EV adoption in rural areas would have tangible benefits, such as reducing the financial burden of transporting diesel.
Study coauthor Dr. Francis Markham noted that we still have limited information and there are some aspects of rural EV use that require further research. For instance, he said, we don’t have a clear idea of how unsealed roads and different road conditions common in rural areas can affect EV range. Still, the United States specifically and the world at large have to cut down on carbon emissions, and EV adoption in rural areas will play a significant role.
As more companies such as Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) bring to market different models to increase the options for buyers, more motorists from rural communities will find what suits their needs and the uptake of these vehicles will accelerate.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MULN
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