Infrastructure Partnerships Australia has stunned the nascent electric vehicle industry in Australia by suggesting that EVs be immediately hit with a road user charge, and has modelled a fee of 4c a kilometre, or about $800 a year based on 20,000kms travelled.
The proposal, in a new report released on Thursday – just a day before a key meeting of state and federal transport ministers – suggests that fuel excise revenue – which currently gathers around $11.3 billion a year – could “fall off a cliff’ if the uptake of EVs suddenly accelerates from its current low levels.
The lobby group wants the road user charge targeted exclusively at full battery electric vehicles, but not plug in hybrids or other fuel efficient cars, or any car that has an internal combustion engine.
And the new tax should be introduced now, says IPA chief executive Adrian Dwyer, “before there is an electric car in every driveway.”
The EV industry says a road tax is inevitable. However, it says it should be aimed at all vehicles, not just EVs, particularly as petrol and diesel cars bear no cost of their impacts on health and emissions.
The think tank is singling out EVs as the culprit, even though its own data shows that fuel excise revenue per kilometre has declined by one third over the last decade. That’s due to the gradual improvement in efficiency, and despite the fact that Australia is one of the few western countries not to have fuel efficiency standards.
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