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The path to EV uptake – the Fourth Wave

Dunn, A., Calais, M. and Lee, G. (2019) The path to EV uptake – the Fourth Wave. In: Australasian Transport Research Forum 2019, 30 September - 2 October 2019, Canberra, Australia



The replacement of conventionally fueled passenger cars by electric vehicles (EVs) has long been expected across the world as developed nations move away from fossil fuels and towards energy use that is cleaner, cheaper and renewable. However, where some nations have shown a clear path towards rising EV uptake during the past decade, Australia has steadfastly refused to follow: EV uptake has been extremely limited, while established patterns of liquid fuel consumption have continued unabated. The potential virtues of EV adoption have been extolled from all the usual perspectives: environmental benefits have been measured, low economic running costs have been highlighted, and even improved levels of energy security have been indicated. But these arguments to encourage EV uptake have failed to gain any traction sufficient to replace the status quo of a national road transport system that has grown to rely on a diet of imported conventional liquid fuels.

A recent survey of industry, research and government operatives by Murdoch University researchers probed public awareness of the complex issues surrounding transport fuel economics and the reasons for consumer reluctance to change to EVs. The main aim of this paper is to use information from the survey as evidence to support the theory that the path to improving EV uptake in Australia will continue to fail unless EVs become available under a certain set of conditions, or possibly until it happens by default when The Fourth Wave arrives.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Conference Website:
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