South Australia’s Liberal government has confirmed it is still considering the introduction of a “user charge” for the state’s electric vehicle drivers, and is likely to base it on the highly controversial per-kilometre EV tax set to be rolled out in Victoria this year.
South Australia, a world leader in the shift to renewable energy, has been threatening to introduce a form of tax on electric vehicles for some months now, beating Victoria and New South Wales to the punch, despite the fact that EV uptake in Australia lags well behind the rest of the world.
Victoria made good on its own threats in November of last year, when state treasurer Tim Pallas revealed that the Labor government would charge electric vehicle owners 2.5 cents per kilometre, and plug-in hybrid owners 2 cents per kilometre from July 1, 2021.
That announcement was slammed by EV industry bodies and by the country’s peak automotive industry body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), which warned such policies would kill off Australia’s fledgling EV industry.
Indeed, as The Driven calculated here, Victoria’s per-km charge will mean that a second hand Nissan Leaf – currently selling well below $20,000 in the growing used car import market – would attract a charge of around $2.50 for every 100 kilometres travelled.
Nevertheless, it seems South Australia has not been put off the idea, with the Adelaide Advertiser reporting on Wednesday that treasurer Rob Lucas had confirmed his government was in discussions with its Victorian counterpart and looking to model the SA levy on Victoria’s user charge.
“We haven’t resolved anything yet in terms of the final shape and structure,” Lucas said.
On a more positive note, Lucas also said the state was still considering a proposal to abolish or reduce stamp duty on electric vehicles to make them more affordable.
“We’re not ruling anything out,” he said.