Australia, Transport News

Judgment day looms for Victorian EV charge case

The highly debated Victorian EV road user charge case is set to be decided in the High Court on Wednesday

In a battle that has lasted numerous years, the Victorian electric vehicle road charge case is set to be decided this week.

Back in July 2021, Victoria implemented a road user charge for electric vehicle owners, with two owners taking the battle to Canberra afterwards.

The drivers argued that the charge imposed an excise, which goes against what the Commonwealth can do in the constitution.

Despite this objection, all state and territory bodies have supported Victoria’s call, with the Commonwealth instead taking the drivers’ side in the legal battle.

On Wednesday, the High Court will deliver its judgment on the validity of Victoria’s electric vehicle charge.

Victoria’s Zero and Low Emission Vehicle (ZLEV) charge applies to cars, light trucks and delivery vans, with a charge of 2.8 cents per kilometre imposed for full electric vehicles, while 2.3 cents per kilometre is enforced for plug-in hybrid models.

Under the High Court’s consideration is whether the federal parliament can be the only body to impose this type of tax.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says it asked for and was granted leave to make submissions to the court, arguing that the state ZLEV charges would defeat the ability of the federal parliament to execute a charging policy for all road users.

On top of this, the Victorian Ombudsman has also condemned the state government’s administration of the charge.

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