SA Electric Vehicle Charge Underscores Need for Equity and National Consistency

Roads Australia (RA), the peak body for roads within an integrated transport system, welcomes the South Australian Government’s decision to address road user charges for electric vehicles (EVs) in 2021 and says it underscores the need to be focused on equity and the pursuit of a nationally consistent approach.

“Inequities in the current system, where vehicles with lower fuel efficiency effectively pay a higher distance-based road-user charge, need to be removed,” said RA President Michael Bushby.

“This includes dealing with the fact that under current arrangements, electric vehicles make no contribution for road use, and therefore to road investment.

“Most concerning is that the impact of the present system is often most disadvantageous to lower socio/ economic sector vehicle owners, who are more likely to own older, less fuel-efficient vehicles.

“RA welcomes the continued efforts by governments across Australia to support a more environmentally sustainable transport network by encouraging greater uptake of EVs.

“It is recognised that this may require a phased approach to road user charges and/or rebates to encourage EV uptake.

“Equity and transparency must be the foundation of any system of road user charging – and that means ensuring those driving all vehicles, including EV’s, are contributing fairly to the cost of maintaining safe and efficient road infrastructure nationally.

“RA encourages all governments to work collaboratively to establish a nationally consistent approach to road user charges for EVs as a key component of the essential micro-economic reform process around road user charging and investment more broadly.

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