Electric Trucks, Transport News

Landmark electric vehicle case hits High Court

The ATA has lodged a submission supporting the two electric vehicle owners who have brought the case to the High Court

In its weekly Friday Facts newsletter, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says a case that’s been billed the biggest constitutional fight in 25 years relating to the transport industry started in the High Court last week.

Two electric vehicle owners are taking action against Victoria and its road user charge and have the federal government’s support in the case.

The action is being taken due to Victoria introducing the zero and low emissions vehicles (ZLEV) distance-based charge on July 1, 2021, which imposed a 2.6 cent levy for every kilometre driven by a zero-emissions car and 2.1 cents per kilometre for plug-in hydrogen vehicles.

The Victorian government says the levy is designed to replace the fuel excise to prevent electric vehicles from getting a free ride by bypassing the cost.

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This means Victorian owners of hybrid vehicles pay both taxes, as the rest of Australia’s states and territories support Victoria’s decision.

But the federal government says the ZLEV is a tax on goods, which is something only the federal government can hand down.

The ATA says it has lodged submissions with the High Court supporting the plaintiffs (the electric vehicle owners) due to the implications of the case for road users and trucking businesses.

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