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Viability of Using EV and PHEV in rural and remote primary health care

The Challenge

Australian light vehicles emit an average of 3.75 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.  The domestic transport sector as a whole contributes 90 Mt CO2-e, or 16 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in total. The government has established a priority to electric and hybrid electric vehicles to reduce transport emissions.  However, there are questions about the viability and safety of usign EV and PHEV vehicles in primary health care practice in rural and remote communities due to the poor distribution of EV charging infrastructure, distances between locations, the ability of vehicles to perform in arid conditions, and the reliability of vehicles on unsealed roads.

Theory of Change

With appropriate investment in infrastructure, and staff training, electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) can be a safe and reliable component of primary health care delivery in rural and remote communities and contribute to reducing carbon emissions and costs.

Anticipated Outcomes

Short-Intermediate Term

  1. Reduction in carbon emissions

  2. Reduction in operating costs

  3. Staff survey on vehicle reliability and safety for rural and remote travel

Long Term Outcomes

  1. Reduction in carbon emissions will help to mitigate destructive climate change and adverse health impacts in rural, Aboriginal and other disadvantaged communities.


Emissions Reduction

Comparison of average emissions between combustion and EV/PHEV vehicles

Operating Costs

Percentage reduction in fuel costs from use of EV/PHEV vehicles (comparison with prior year)

Reliability Score

Staff survey of reliability of using EV/PHEV for travel in outback communities

15 April 2024

Trial commenced in January 2023 and data will not be available for full year until 2024.

Social Impacts

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  1. Climate Change Authority (2019) Opportunities to reduce light vehicle emissions in Australia at


Croydon Dowley, Manager Foundation Services and Programs (0434 989 658)

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