The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has applauded the NSW Government’s support of electric vehicle road user charges, following the announcement of a similar scheme by South Australia.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has pledged to support a road user charge for electric vehicles and is expected to introduce a user-charge policy to cabinet within the next year.
Acting CEO of the ATA Bill McKinley said the move was reassuring news.
“The existing road user charging system is not fair. All road users must pay their fair share,” McKinley said.
“Without reform, the burden of paying for roads would be forced onto the general public and impact funds allocated for other priorities such as schools and hospitals,” he said.
Earlier this month, the ATA welcomed the South Australian Government’s planned introduction of a road user charge for electric vehicles, set to commence from July 1, 2021.
“This is an important national issue. Electric trucks are a reality, with an all-electric light truck entering the market in 2021 and thousands of electric cars already on our roads,” said McKinley.
“Opponents of an electric vehicle road user charge need
to explain what other taxes should be increased or what services will be cut in order to sustainable and fairly fund safe roads into the future.
“The ATA supports the uptake of electric vehicles, although is calling on governments to ensure road user charges for electric heavy ve- hicles are calculated fairly and transparently.”
McKinley said any electric vehicle road user charge should include heavy vehicles and be set within the existing
national system for setting heavy vehicle charges.
“Any road user charge must be set in a way which is nationally compatible and does not impose red tape on interstate operators,” he said.
Kirk Coningham, chief executive officer of ALC welcomed the establishment of the Electric Vehicle Action Plan by SA, adding that the ALC encourages investment in infrastructure that would assist in the staged transition of vehicles from fuel to electric powered vehicles.
However, he warned that industry should be properly represented in the discussions designing any proposed user charge so that it is both nationally uniform and efficient.
“Australia functions as a single national market. It is imperative that there is a consistent road user charge operating throughout the nation so that businesses who decide to make an early transition to electric vehicles can make appropriate purchasing decisions,” he said.
“Designed correctly, the approach can be directly applied in other programs including the long-running Heavy Vehicle Road Reform process which is designed to modernise the way in which heavy vehicles are charged to access Australia’s roads.”