The Motor Trades Association of SA/NT says that with more electric vehicles on our roads than ever, the High Court of Australia’s decision to overturn a Victorian Government EV tax must pave the way for a nationally consistent road user charge for all motorists.
A majority of the court found that the imposition of an excise by the Victorian Government per kilometre driven was unconstitutional because states do not have the authority to impose such fees.
Motor Trade Association SA/NT CEO, Darrell Jacobs (above), said the federal government must now take action to ensure electric vehicle drivers contribute to road user charges, just like any other motorist.
“All road users must pay their way on our roads,” said Jacobs.
“Electric vehicle owners in South Australia do not contribute to road user charges, which are collected as an excise in fuel prices and contribute to infrastructure and road maintenance.
“Every motorist benefits from this critical investment so it only makes sense that everybody contributes towards it.
“Now is the time to take action or we otherwise risk further deterioration of our roads as electric vehicle sales grow.
“Petrol and diesel drivers should likewise not have to subsidise infrastructure investments on behalf of EV owners.”
According to Jacobs, state-by-state approaches to road user charge collection risked putting South Australia and the Northern Territory at a greater disadvantage in road funding due to the state and territory’s large road networks compared to population size.
“We want to incentivise the uptake of all zero and low emission vehicles, but road user charging must be done nationally,” he said.
According to the Motor Trade Association SA/NT, electric vehicles represent eight per cent of Australian new car sales.