ATA calls for movement on EV road user charging

Transition from fuel excise model needed as electric uptake increases

ATA calls for movement on EV road user charging
Crouch and federal transport minister Michael McCormack


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has backed calls for the federal government to act on road user charging for electric vehicles (EV) as a means of circumventing the "unfairness" of some drivers not paying their share for road use.

A new report released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) modelling the global and Australian uptake of electric vehicles outlines the beginning of a growth of EV sales and predicts new EVs will make up 8 per cent of new Australian car sales by 2025 and 27 per cent by 2030.

ATA chair Geoff Crouch says he supports comments from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair Rod Sims, who notes "the unfairness of some road users not paying their fair share for road use".

"Road users contribute to the cost of roads through fuel duty, and as it stands, electric vehicle owners do not pay for the roads they drive on," Crouch says.

"Although the fleet is small, the time to act on road user charging for electric vehicles is now.

"The report indicates the window for getting light vehicle road user charging right, while the electric fleet is small, is rapidly closing.

Canberra recently announced the start of heavy vehicle road user charging trials

Crouch says as the number of electric vehicles increases, the tax burden for road use will continue to shift to fuel vehicle drivers – including trucks.

"A parliamentary inquiry into electric vehicles heard that this may cost the Federal Budget a billion dollars a year within 10 years," he says.

"Our roads are critical to our economy and underfunding the future road network will pull the handbrake on our ability to move goods to markets and consumers.

"The total economic cost of inaction will be far greater than the cost to the Government."

Crouch adds the ATA is a longstanding advocate for governments to prioritise reforms on how roads are funded.

"These reforms should include better links between road revenue and funding, as well as customer focused service level standards for roads."


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