South Australia’s electric car owners no longer face the prospect of being slugged with a road users tax, with the former Marshall Government idea scrapped by parliament.
A repeal bill to take down the former Liberal government’s proposed EV levy has been passed by both houses, doing away with what Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis says was a disincentive to choose the environmentally friendly option when buying a new car.
“South Australians should be encouraged to make environmentally-responsible choices, not met with new barriers,” he said.
“This backwards-thinking tax was another betrayal of the Liberals’ low-taxing rhetoric, as well as a betrayal of the pursuit of clean energy solutions.”
Calculated at two cents per kilometre for plug-in hybrids and 2.5 cents per km for any other electric vehicles, the charge was initially due to start last year before being delayed until July 2027, or when EV sales reach 30 per cent of the state’s total car market.
The idea was for it to be billed in arrears as part of the vehicle registration process.
Then treasurer Rob Lucas said in 2021 SA transitioning to a higher concentration of low-emission vehicles would mean fewer motorists paying fuel excise and contributing to vital road funding.
“A road user charge is necessary to ensure that all vehicle owners, regardless of what car they drive, contribute to the upkeep of our roads into the future,” he said.
However, Kousantonis on Wednesday described the levy as “a stealth tax with a hidden cost for the environment”.
He said the benefits of its repeal were already evident with 242 new electric vehicles sold in SA in January, up from 32 in January 2022.
He said a survey by the Australia Institute in 2021 showed seven in 10 South Australians were less likely to purchase an electric vehicle if a new road user charge was to be introduced.
Extracted in full from: Plug pulled on SA electric car tax (indaily.com.au)