High Impact Project Update: Green Australian Vehicle Ownership project

According to a 2021 report from the Climate Council, 75% of new car sales will need to be electric by 2030 for Australia to achieve net zero transport emissions by 2035. This imminent transition from combustion to electric vehicles (EV) will require a huge shift in the infrastructure across Australia. With all Australian states and territories setting sustainable transport targets and preparing for the EV transition, there is an urgent demand for up-to-date, spatio-temporal data on electric vehicles.

AURIN is funding the Green Australian Vehicle Ownership (GreenAVO) project through the High Impact Project (HIP) program. This project will develop a new national data asset that will enable AURIN to provide up-to-date, longitudinal data at the postcode-level that reveals the emergence of electric vehicles across Australia. These data will allow the research community to map, model and monitor vehicle ownership by:

    • Vehicle make and model
    • Energy consumption
    • Emissions
    • Infrastructure requirements

Led by Dr Anthony Kimpton from the University of Queensland, the project focus is updating and extending AURIN’s 2014 cross-sectional database of vehicle ownership and environmental efficiency. This will be achieved by automating extraction and archiving of the latest data from new government APIs to reveal longitudinal trends. The existing coverage will be expanded to include all postcodes across Australia, which will enable the observation and tracking of socio-economic patterns and trends across areas.

“GreenAVO is capable of measuring, monitoring, mapping, and predicting the composition of the Australian vehicle fleet. As such, it will be an important national resource for researchers and policy makers examining transport disadvantage and vehicle emissions, and governments and practitioners seeking to accelerate the national electric vehicle transition. Working together, we can minimise Australian carbon emissions and dependence on imported fossil fuels while also ensuring that our vulnerable social groups and remote communities are not left behind by this national transition,” says Dr Kimpton.

Automated data extraction means that GreenAVO is self-sustaining beyond the life cycle of the project that in turn will enrich AURIN’s capabilities, data resources, and role in urban land use and transport planning in the years to come. It also means GreenAVO users will have access to the most current vehicle ownership data for observing temporal trends and spatial changes in vehicle technologies and infrastructure requirements.

The data collated through the GreenAVO project will be available to the national and international research community via an AURIN API and for examination alongside the broader AURIN data catalogue.

The database will provide up-to-date trends and spatial patterns in Australian vehicle ownership, energy consumption, emissions, and infrastructure demands. This will allow unique insights into the Australian:

    • uptake of hybrid and electric vehicles and the associated impacts
    • decline of tailpipe emissions
    • changing energy demands, e.g. production, storage, distribution and charging stations

GreenAVO will also provide insights into when and where motorists are replacing their cars with hybrid and electric vehicles. This provides opportunities for:

    • powering Australian transport from clean, renewable energy sources while strengthening national energy security
    • integrating and distributing transport energy via the energy grid and
    • storing and distributing energy via EVs that function as ‘portable power walls’ that move energy alongside daily population flows, reducing the energy lost in storage and powerline transmission

GreenAVO will support the environmental change national research priority by improving accuracy and precision when measuring and predicting how Australian transport is damaging the environment. The capacity for accurate and precise measurement and prediction of environmental damage will strengthen the evidence base:

    • when calibrating transport pricing, operation and resource allocation to minimise environmental damage
    • for developing sustainable conservation, transport and land use policies

The GreenAVO capability is unique and extends national research potential across diverse fields. The postcode-level electric vehicle data can be linked to other forms of aggregated data and postcode areas can be spatially integrated within broader areal units. Upon completion, the GreenAVO database will create an evidence base for developing infrastructure that is responsive to emerging vehicle technologies.

The GreenAVO Project is an AURIN High Impact Project (HIP). Through the HIP program, AURIN engages with Australian urban, regional and social planning communities—including researchers, planners and policy makers from academic, government, NGO/NFP and private sector organisations—through collaboration and co-investment in high-quality, high-priority, high impact projects.

The GreenAVO project will deliver new datasets, tools, services and demonstrate the value and potential of its use within the existing AURIN Platform. Through this we can improve our understanding of how the electric vehicle transition impacts transport and urban land use planning.