Victoria’s new 2.5 cents/km EV charge will apply to electric and other zero-emissions vehicles, including hydrogen-powered vehicles, while a 2.0 cent/km charge will apply to plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles from July 2021.
The charge means EV drivers travelling 15,000 kilometres a year will pay $375, which is less than the fuel excise paid by owners of many petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles. A Toyota Camry driver, for example, using 8.3 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres, would pay an estimated $526 a year in fuel excise, while a Toyota Corolla driver, using six litres per 100 kilometres, would pay about $380 in excise.
Nicholas says there are still some questions about how the charge will work for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which use either petrol or an electric battery.
“If they run their vehicle on petrol then they have paid fuel excise, but how do you separate the kilometres they have driven using an electric battery to avoid double-charging them?” he says.
The nation’s peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association, of which RACV is a member, has long argued that EVs should be brought into the road-tax system, initially at a discounted rate to avoid discouraging their take-up.
But while the association welcomes the introduction of EV charges, national director Michael Bradley says there needs to be a national system to enable funding for transport projects.
“The technological shifts we’re seeing in the car market are good for consumers and the environment, but they are also going to significantly undermine the federal budget and its reliance on fuel-excise revenue to fund transport projects,” he says.
“The federal government must step in and ensure tax changes are nationally consistent, equitable, and progressed in a manner that does not disincentivise technological transition.”