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Greg Pollard - 24 May 2016

Adelaide's Commuting Transportation

Hi there,
My name is Greg Pollard and I am in my 4th year studying Bachelor of urban and Regional Planning (Honours Degree) and am interested in information about how Adelaide's Commuting transportation can become carbon natural if anyone has some recent research that has been done I would be very interested in contacting you.

Kind Regards,

Greg Pollard.

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Michael Smyth

24 Jun 2016

Hi Greg,
I'm an engineer with an interest in urban transport. Here is some useful research into transportation emissions, in context of the Adelaide to Zero Carbon challenge.
Firstly, it helps to understand the scale of the challenge when it comes to carbon-neutral transport. Transport related CO2 emissions in the City of Adelaide alone in 2013 were 328,800 tonnes (being 35% of total city emissions of 939,532 tonnes). For the transport fleet, this equates to hydrocarbon fuel use of 137 million litres assuming petrol fleet (ref 1) , or 124.5 million litres assuming diesel vehicles (ref 2). Converted to distance (using ref 3), approximately 1 BILLION vehicle-kilometers were travelled in the City of Adelaide in 2013, using conventionally powered vehicles.
To decarbonise this fleet would require either:
1) Creation 130 million liters per annum of additional carbon-neutral biofuel, to replace non-renewable fuels, or
2) Replacement of around 67,000 traditional vehicles on the Adelaide metropolitan area with pure battery-electric vehicles (assuming 15,000km per vehicle per annum fleet-average mileage), combined with approximately 90MW additional installed electrical generation capacity (wind & solar), which is the nominal capacity required to recharge 67,000 vehicles.
The second option is achievable. Firstly, South Australia had 1,347,514 registered vehicles in 2015 (4). Replacing only 4.8% of this fleet with renewable powered battery-electric vehicles is sufficient to fully mitigate the Adelaide City transport emissions. Secondly, as of 2015, South Australia has over 1,500MW of installed wind power capacity and 630MW installed small-scale solar power capacity. Achieving an additional 80MW (as required to recharge these vehicles) is both simple and affordable.

Of course, in the context of urban & regional planning, behavioral change (such as increased use of public transport, walking and commuter cycling, and reducing travel frequency & distance) are desirable long-term aims. The research above, however, illustrates that we can already achieve rapid decarbonisation of the transport sector without significant additional funding, simply by retaining existing transport patterns and using existing infrastructure (roads, wind+solar power). All that is required is a catalyst to switch consumer behaviour towards preferential purchase of electric vehicles.

References:
(1) Gasoline 2.4kg CO2 per litre burnt
(2) Diesel fuel 2.64kg CO2 per litre burnt
(3) Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014) combined Australian vehicle fleet average fuel consumption 13.3 litres / 100km (or 10.3 litres / 100km for passenger vehicles)
(4) Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) motor vehicle census

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