An unlikely group of 25 companies and organisations, including car manufacturers, auto groups, electrical infrastructure companies and environmental groups have come together to publish an open letter to the Victorian parliament calling on them to vote against Victoria’s regressive electric vehicles tax.
The letter, which appears as a full-page advertisement in The Age, highlights that the Andrews Government’s proposed tax on electric vehicles is the only stand-alone electric vehicle tax in the world.
Prominent signatories of the open letter include Hyundai, Volkswagen, Uber, Jet Charge, the Electric Vehicle Council, Solar Citizens, Environment Victoria, Doctors for the Environment Australia and the Australia Institute.
“Victoria is already massively behind comparable jurisdictions in the US, the UK, and across Europe in terms of electric car uptake. This tax will exacerbate the yawning gap,” said Behyad Jafari, CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council.
“Far from being on track to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, emissions from transport are rising in Victoria. This is the wrong time to tax zero emissions vehicles,” Mr Jafari said.
“The Victorian Government is helping households install cleaner solar energy, and they should be leading the charge and making it easier for Victorians to invest in cleaner transport,” said Ellen Roberts, National Director of Solar Citizens.
“Just like rooftop solar, we want to see electric vehicles become more affordable for everyday Australians. But this tax on cleaner vehicles will just jam on the handbrake,” Ms Roberts said.
“Penalising electric car owners because they don’t consume petrol that pollutes the atmosphere and our environment is absurd. Our research shows that there are a range of policies that support the uptake of EVs which are very popular the public. These include offering loans for electric vehicle purchases, building more charging stations and removing the Luxury Car Tax on zero emissions cars ,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy program director at the Australia Institute.
“It is somewhat disingenuous to suggest that roads are funded by the fuel excise, as those funds are collected by the Federal Government and go towards general revenue. If the State Government is looking to increase revenue, there are far better ways to go about it that don’t disincentivise the use of electric vehicles,” Mr Merzian said.
“Volkswagen does not ask for incentives to import zero emission vehicles, rather for the abandonment of such disincentives such as this ill-conceived anomaly of a tax,” said Michael Bartsch, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Australia.