EV target welcomed, now for road finding reform

April 1, 2019 – The Federal Opposition’s national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of all new car sales by 2030 is ambitious but achievable – but it must happen in tandem with ‘root and branch’ reform of road funding.

“EV technology is evolving quickly, and in a supportive political environment there is no reason why we cannot reach this goal,” Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, said today.

“The big upside, of course, will be a significant reduction in vehicle emissions. But on the downside, government fuel excise revenue will take a massive hit.”

Mr Stuart-Watt said excise revenues had already fallen by an estimated 23 per cent over the past 15 years as a proportion of vehicle kilometres travelled.

“There are a number of factors behind this, not the least being the improved fuel efficiency of the Australian fleet,” he said.

“However, with a future light vehicle fleet made up of even more low and zero-emissions vehicles, the funding base for maintaining our transport network will continue to shrink unless urgent action is taken.”

Quoting from Roads Australia’s recently released 2019 Policy Report, Mr Stuart-Watt said it was ‘highly likely’ that fuel excise would need to be replaced in Australia within the next 10 years.

“A change so significant will require a bipartisan approach across government and involve input from industry, the community and road users,” he said.

“Roads Australia welcomes and supports increasing Australia’s uptake of low emission vehicles, and looks forward to working with all key stakeholders to make it happen.

“But at the same time we need to see the Commonwealth, in particular, show leadership on road funding reform to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to support the variety of low emission vehicles now available around the world.”

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