Excuse me! – this was Kasia’s (team leader at ptc.) reaction when she heard about the new electric vehicle (EV) tax to be introduced by the Victorian government. And it surely summarises our feelings about it.
From 1st of July, Victorian EV owners will pay 2.5 cents per kilometre whilst hybrid vehicle owners, will pay 2 cents. The Government’s defence is that EV owners should contribute to road maintenance similarly to petrol vehicle drivers who pay gas excise. Although this may not seem unreasonable, there are some considerations to be made:
- EVs are less polluting than conventional vehicles and their adoption can contribute to environmental targets.
- The high cost of EVs in Australia is one of the barriers for mass adoption. Currently, less than one per cent of Australian vehicles are electric.
- Conventional vehicle owners don’t pay for all the associated cost of their vehicles (e.g. costs related to local air pollution and noise pollution).
In our view, governments should be making a strong effort towards more sustainable transport modes. This includes improving public transport network, cycling infrastructure and incentivising the adoption of EVs.
How are they going to check the Km I have traveled for the year?
Are they sending an army of people out to register your Km travel on a particular day each year, or do we have to go to a check-in point each year so they can calculate the bill.
Regarding the high cost of EVs, you would need to talk to the “Federal Head marketing man” about why they have a high duty on imports for vehicles that can substantially reduce carbon emissions. They should have incentives like the rest of the world don’t think you will get an intelligent answer from the marketing guru.
In regards to your question, EV owners will be able to take a photograph of your odometer and then download it onto the VicRoads site (https://7news.com.au/business/finance/victoria-electric-car-tax-could-be-introduced-and-cost-up-to-300-a-year-c-2377896).
Moving to a cents per km charge is the best long-term outcome. Politically, it’s probably easier to implement the change now rather than when a higher proportion of Victorian’s have EVs. I don’t think the change will impact uptake; as is already mentioned, high up-front costs and lack of charging infrastructure are much bigger barriers. Rather than campaigning for scrapping the charge, I think it’s better to improve the policy instead by making rego and the TAC charge a cents per km fee as well. Daily usage of an EV would still be cheaper than a conventional car. People would be incentivised to switch to an EV and then incentivised to drive it as little as possible.