The South Australian government will seize the dubious honour of becoming the only jurisdiction in the world actively disincentivise the purchase of electric vehicles through tax if it goes through with measures announced by Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“While governments around the world are using every means possible to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles, South Australia reckons they have it all wrong,” said Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari.
“If the revenue from fuel excise is falling because South Australians are burning less foreign oil, that should be considered a blessing. Overall, it’s good for air quality, it’s good for the health budget, it’s good for carbon emissions, and it’s great for economic sovereignty. The last thing any sane government would do is try to hit the brakes on this trend.”
Jafari continued: “It’s like responding to a drop in the tobacco tax take by slamming a new excise on nicotine gum. There’s no special bucket of money for roads. Roads need to be paid for from general revenue just like everything else. There is zero need for the SA government to slap a big new tax on an emerging technology that delivers so much for the community.”
A recent analysis by EY showed that every driver who switches to an electric vehicle delivers a $1370 boost to government coffers, and a $8,763 boost to the Australian economy.
“Treasurer Rob Lucas has described his move as a ‘no-brainer’ – remarkable then that no other jurisdiction on the planet has come to his conclusion. Unless every government in the world is missing something obvious that Mr Lucas uniquely understands, the Treasurer may want to re-examine the logic that brought him to this point, added Jafari.
“South Australia can’t hit their net zero targets with this kind of policy approach. The state is currently at less than 1% electric vehicle uptake and now they want to introduce the world’s first EV tax. There’s little point spending $18 million on charging infrastructure if you are actively discouraging people from buying the vehicles that can use it.”