25 Nov 2020 Climate Change, Electric Vehicles, Media Releases, Transport

While the rest of the world is offering incentives to purchase electric vehicles, Labor and Liberal states across Australia are set to become the first governments in the world to tax electric vehicles specifically, with the McGowan Government unable to rule out if they will follow suit.

The South Australian, New South Wales and Victorian state governments have indicated support for an EV specific road user charge, and it is expected other states will follow including WA.

An EV specific road user charge is a major mistake and will slow down the uptake of EVS in Australia which already has one of the slowest uptakes in OECD countries.

If Australia is to effectively address climate change and have any hope of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the full electrification of transport is essential.

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for Transport Tim Clifford said he is extremely concerned about a similar tax being implemented here in WA.

“It’s absurd to think that Labor and Liberal Governments are seeking to tax electric vehicles amid a climate crisis,” Mr Clifford said.

“Time and time again we hear the major parties declare that only technology will save us from the climate crisis, yet here they are actively increasing the costs of emission-reducing technologies – it’s mind-boggling.

“Despite questions in Parliament, the McGowan Government has been unable to provide a clear response on whether they will refuse to introduce similar measures — which is not surprising considering they are still yet to release their long-awaited electric vehicle strategy.

“For the past three years the McGowan Government have been promising to deliver an electric vehicle strategy to increase the uptake of this zero-emission transport, yet, like their climate policy, it is still non-existent.

“With major vehicle manufacturers committing to phasing out petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles in the next few decades, it is critical all governments support the transition to electric vehicles.”

Long-term electric vehicle driver and The Greens (WA) candidate for South Metropolitan Brad Pettitt said he was appalled by this retrograde from both Liberal and Labor governments across Australia.

“In WA we must do the opposite. We must rule out any EV specific road user charge and instead do more to speed up the transition to cleaner vehicles both by providing incentives for West Australians to purchase an EV and by important speeding up the roll out of a network of fast recharging infrastructure across the state,” Mr Pettitt said.

“Electric vehicles offer many benefits of national significance: energy security, cleaner air, quieter cities, stable electricity grids, new high value industries and services, just to name a few.

“By implementing such a charge, governments will only delay this critical transition and increase costs on all road users.”