The Victorian Labor Government has confirmed plans to introduce legislation into state parliament that would see drivers of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen vehicles pay a road user tax.
Under the proposed legislation, battery electric vehicle owners will pay a tax of 2.5 cents for every kilometre driven, while plug-in hybrid vehicles pay 2 cents per kilometre – on average the cost sitting at $330 per year.
Mild hybrids, which charge themselves – rather than plugging to an external power source, would be exempt from the charge.
Industry response has varied.
“Let’s get one thing straight – the Victorian Government’s recent announcement that it will tax electric vehicles with a road user charge is not about the environment or being a gas guzzler or a greenie. It’s about roads. That’s all,” said Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce CEO, Geoff Gwilym.
This position echoes that of Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas.
“These reforms ensure all motorists pay their fair share to use our roads while we continue to incentivise the use of zero or low emissions vehicles.”
The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) has responded by calling on the Victorian Parliament to reject the legislation.
"The rest of the developed world is doing everything possible to encourage the uptake of electric cars, but Mr Pallas reckons it's time to slam the brakes on in Victoria," said EVC Chief Executive, Behyad Jafari.
“Far from being on track to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, emissions from transport are rising in Victoria. This is the wrong time to tax zero-emissions vehicles.”
Last year 6,900 electric cars sold in Australia – a 2.7 percent increase from the 2019 – accounting for 0.7 percent of total Australian car sales.