In Australia, there are several ways motorists contribute to federal and state funded road maintenance and infrastructure. Most typically these include vehicle registration, tolls, GST and insurance premiums. Motorist also pay on average, a 50 cent per litre fuel excise which is collected from service stations by the Australian Tax Office in the form of a tax payment.
The fuel excise in Australia typically contributes 1$3 billion per year to our roads. It is this financial contribution by motorists that has caused much contention regarding Australia’s uptake of electric vehicles (EVs). The vast majority of EV owners avoid the fuel excise completely as they eschew fossil fuels and charge their vehicles privately. As EVs gain popularity in Australia, finding a practicable solution to the loss in revenue generated by the fuel excise is under review by the Federal Government.
MTA Queensland Group Chief Executive Dr Brett Dale believes caution needs to be applied to ensure more barriers are not created that prevent the uptake of EVs in Australia, citing the significant upfront cost associated with the cars already means they are beyond the budget for a lot of consumers.
“The push for road tax reform is swiftly approaching and MTA Queensland supports the user-pay approach providing an equitable solution for all road users. This system is based on a tax payment associated with the distance a vehicle has travelled, rather than its fuel source. Further, it is imperative that the state and federal governments follow the example of other countries including Canada, China, USA, India, Japan and many European countries. These countries provide price subsidies and tax reductions, exemptions and credits to encourage the uptake of EVs,” concluded Dr Dale.