Getting road user charging right for Victoria
The Victorian Government is pressing ahead with its plan to establish a road user charge for electric vehicles (EVs).
If it passes the upper house unamended, the new legislation will see EV owners pay 2.5 cents for every kilometre they drive, and owners of plug-in hybrids will pay 2.0 cents. While some see this as controversial, there is nothing new about taxes that help pay for our roads, though some are more obvious than others.
Politicians don’t like to talk about it, but every time you fill up at the bowser, you pay 42.7 cents per litre in fuel excise. In this financial year, the Commonwealth will collect $11 billion from this tax alone.
Owners of pure electric vehicles, which do not require liquid fuels, don’t pay fuel excise, while those driving plug-in hybrids pay much less than people driving traditional internal combustion engines.
It makes sense that as we adopt new vehicle technologies such as electricity and hydrogen, governments need new ways to fund our roads.
Electric and other low emission vehicles are the future of motoring in Victoria. RACV has previously called on state and federal governments to work together and start planning for this change because the pace of technological uptake can change quickly. Avoiding tough decisions will only make things harder down the track.