Electric vehicle owners with cars registered in Victoria have been instructed by the state’s road authority to send in a photo of their odometer readings from July 1 to comply with the new electric vehicle road tax that takes effect from the start of the new financial year. And they are not happy.
EV owners in Victoria will be slugged a tax of 2.5 cents per kilometre from July 1, meaning an annual bill of $375 for cars that travel around 15,000kms a year, but around $750 a year for electric cars that travel double that.
Any EV owner who does not comply with the request risks having the car registration cancelled or suspended, or something else. “Failure to comply may result in your vehicle registration being suspended or cancelled, or other penalties,” the letter from VicRoads reads.
Any driver that fails to deliver the photo of the odomoter reading by July 1 won’t be able to duck the charges, because they will be billed according to the car’s “average daily use” once that is established.
The tax has not gone down well with EV owners or companies involved in the EV transition, who describe it as a retrograde obstacle to the uptake of EVs in Australia, which already trails the rest of the developed world by some considerable distance.
One Twitter user, Rob, posted this image (above), using the drawing features on the Model 3 screen to make it clear exactly what he thought of the road tax.
“I have just received my letter from VicRoads – charging me for doing the right thing by trying to reducing CO2 emissions,” Model 3 owner Roger Richards told The Driven by email.
“Victoria has in this short period become notorious right around the world for its ViVe tax (the Victorian Vendetta” tax against EVs). It will continue to suffer in many ways by missing out on the many cost, social and promotional advantages obtained by places like Norway, California, The Netherlands and New Zealand,” he wrote.
“Some of these advantages include cheaper vehicles and much wider range of vehicles being available to their citizens because these locations are renowned as being EV Friendly instead of EV Antagonistic.”
Victoria has sought to offset the political fallout over the new EV tax by offering a rebate of $3,000 for new EVs purchased, at least for the first 4,000 new EVs, at which point the scale of the rebate will be reviewed.
NSW, on the other hand, has announced a $3,000 rebate for 25,000 vehicles, waived stamp duty for all EVs, and will delay any EV road tax until at least 2027.
The new offer in Victoria of rebates does not wash with existing EV owners, who won’t benefit from the rebate but will be taxed for driving emissions free cars, even when they drive outside Victoria.
“That sucks big time. I am so disappointed in our government when they do things like this,” wrote one EV owner on an EV enthusiasts Facebook group.
“I don’t get what gives them the right to tax your use in other states,” said another.
“What about if people with EVs from other states take holidays with their cars in Victoria., Will they then start to tax visitors too?” asked another.
Owners of plug in hybrid cars are also being taxed 2c a kilometre, even if they do much of their driving with their petrol engine. “Now I get slugged for the lot,” said the owner of one Audi plug in, which has a battery range of just 30kms and a petrol range of 700kms.