Electric Vehicle Council at loggerheads with South Australia government’s new EV tax 

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Electric Vehicle Council at loggerheads with South Australia government’s new EV tax 

 Electric Vehicle Council at loggerheads with South Australia government’s new EV tax 

Summary

  • Electric Vehicle Council issued a statement voicing displeasure with the South Australian government’s decision to impose a road user tax on the EVs.
  • Rob Lucas, Treasurer South Australia plans on introducing road tax for EV owners in 2021.
  • The Council believes that the tax is unwanted and would harm the upward trend in EV sales in the country.

The South Australia Liberal government has shocked the country as probably the only jurisdiction on the planet to impose a tax on electric vehicle users. South Australia’s first-of-its-kind move has not gone down well with the Electric Vehicle Council.

 Australia will be the first country to impose such charges on EV owners, according to Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari. 

Delivering the South Australia state budget on Tuesday, Treasurer Rob Lucas spoke that the EV users will have to pay a road user charge in 2021.

The EV sector was taken aback with the news, and the Electric Vehicle Council immediately issued a statement slamming the government’s decision to levy a tax and disincentivise the purchase of electric vehicles.

The EV industry argues that while governments around the globe are finding ways to provide incentives to boost the growth of electric vehicles, the South Australia government seems to be doing just the opposite by trying to discourage the potential EV buyers.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari continued that if South Australians were possibly using lesser foreign oil, leading to lower revenue from fuel excise, then it was a blessing to the country, considering the drastic climate change Australia has been facing.

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Upward trend in EV sales

Electric Vehicles are suitable for air quality. They are also good for the health of the financial budget, and they don't produce harmful carbon emissions. EVs are great options for economic sovereignty.

The EV Council lashed out at the government saying that any sane government would not try to impose such taxes which could pause the momentum of the EV sales. 

According to the industry's peak body, 2019 was a successful year for electric vehicle sales in Australia. The sales tripled despite lack of government support to the industry and buyers. From 2,216 in 2018 to 6,718 in 2019, the fully electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars sales numbers increased exponentially.

The numbers showcase the increase in the intentions of the consumers to purchase electric vehicles. The industry body, therefore, believes that the South Australian government’s decision could harm the rising trend. 

A total of 412 electric vehicles were sold in SA in 2019. Besides, 832 EVs were sold in New South Wales, while 815 were retailed in the state of Victoria and 450 in Queensland.

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Unwanted tax imposition?

Jafari slammed the SA government’s tax move, asserting that EV was an emerging technology that provided a better life to the community. 

A recent study conducted by EY shows that a driver who switches to an electric vehicle from the standard ones provides an AU$1370 boost to the government funds. The EV owner, on an average, boosted the Australian economy by AU$8,763. 

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It will be challenging for South Australia to reach its net-zero emission target if such policies are implemented.

With less than one per cent electric vehicle sales in the state, the world's first EV tax is possibly harmful instead of encouraging. The Council believes that the AU$18 million spent on EV charging infrastructure is of no use if the government is discouraging the people from buying vehicles which will use the infrastructure. 

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