The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) is calling on the Victorian Parliament to reject the State Government’s ‘globally unprecedented’ legislation which would place a tax on electric vehicles.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas today announced the government will introduce legislation into Parliament for the new electric vehicle tax.
The EVC said the announcement follows an 18-month period in which the state treasurer has refused to meet with representatives of the Australian electric vehicle industry to discuss his tax.
EVC Chief Executive, Behyad Jafari, said the Victorian parliament should reject the legislation.
“The rest of the developed world is doing everything possible to encourage the uptake of electric cars, but Mr Pallas reckons it’s time to slam the brakes in Victoria,” Mr Jafari said.
“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,” he warned.
“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.”
“You don’t need to be much of an economist to know that if you whack a big new tax on something you discourage its use,” Mr Jafari stated.
“If you’re collecting less tax from cigarettes, you don’t respond by slapping a big new tax on nicotine gum. Victorian drivers who make the choice to clean the air and reduce carbon emissions should be encouraged, not punished.”
Mr Jafari noted that Mr Pallas’ position put New South Wales in the driver’s seat to overtake its neighbour in capturing the benefits of vehicle electrification.
“If Victoria proceeds with this foolish tax, New South Wales will have a golden opportunity to accelerate its shift to electric cars and leave its rival in the dust,” Mr Jafari said.
“Although the NSW Treasurer has indicated some in-principle support for an EV tax, there’s plenty of time to recalibrate. If he does, there’s a golden opportunity to establish a big lead on Victoria in a key area.”
“That’s why Mr Pallas’ stand is truly baffling. I know the Australian electric vehicle sector would love to understand his logic, but the Treasurer has been too busy to meet with us. I urge his colleagues in parliament to give him the gift of time – vote down this tax until he has the time to develop a plan that supports electric vehicles, instead of punishing people for buying them,” he concluded.