...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 it’s not likely to happen.
Outer suburban groups also own the oldest vehicles in the fleet – they can’t afford newer ones – and this also contributes to poor fuel efficiency and big transport bills. The newest most fuel efficient vehicles are more commonly purchased by wealthier inner-urban households. They can afford the car, but have less need of the efficiency because they don’t travel as far. If such patterns are applied to electric vehicles, their high cost and novelty status means they’re likely to also be taken up by this more advantaged group. Any subsidies offered to spur their uptake will be largely captured by the wealthy.
The implication of our analysis is that the intersection of new fuel and vehicle technology costs with the social and travel patterns in Australian cities mean that suburban households face continued socio-economic stress even as these new vehicles become more widely adopted in Australian cities.
So if new technologies such as electric cars aren’t the solution, how can we secure suburban households against higher fuel prices?
We need a sustained strategy to redress the grossly inequitable supply of public transport to our suburbs. We also need to decentralise our cities, getting jobs and services out into the suburbs and reducing the distances people need to travel by car.
From The Age - http://theage.drive.com.au/electric-veh ... 2f3ga.html