Today, the people of South Australia have voted to kick out Steven Marshall’s Liberal Government from power. Labor’s Peter Malinauskas (@PMalinauskasMP) has won a decisive victory and while many factors play a role in the way that people vote, we would hope that policies play a key part in those decisions.
One of those policies from South Australian Labor, was to repeal the Electric Vehicle Tax in South Australia that was due to come into effect in 2027.
The full statement in the policy is:
Repeal the Marshall Liberal government electric vehicle tax. This legislation is due to take effect from 2027, and Labor will repeal it before any electric vehicles can be taxed for the kilometres they drive. We want to encourage South Australians to buy an electric vehicle and hitting them with this tax will have the opposite effect.
Over the coming decade the price of electric vehicles is expected to fall and they will become increasingly common on our roads. The Marshall Liberal government has seen an opportunity to slug road users with an extra tax when they should be doing everything they can to reduce emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles.
As detailed in the policy document, in 2018, Australia ranked 20th in the list of global rankings for transport energy efficiency. While we’re 4 years on from that data, it’s clear Australia continues to be behind the curve with EVs still making up less than 2% of new car sales.
Given the transport sector is responsible for large portions of Australia’s (and South Australia) CO2 emissions, it’s an important one to address. The transport sector is also one of the easiest challenges to address, given the solution is known and that is to migrate our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles.
SA Labor believes that adding an EV tax, a per km fee road user charge, would be detrimental to increasing EV adoption. I agree and many states now offer rebates to lower the price of EVs in the hope of increasing adoption.
Ironically just across the border in Victoria, the Labor party has already introduced an EV tax under Daniel Andrews. South Australia has led our country in the move to renewable energy, as evidenced by the bold project to add the Big Battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve. This was commissioned way back in 2017 and since then, we’ve seen a number of states (including Victoria) copy this approach, using large grid-scale batteries to store clean, renewable energy.
So with the VIC and SA Labor parties having such a conflict in policies around the EV tax, it makes for an awkward situation as we head into the Federal election later this year, what will be the position of the Federal Labor party on Electric Vehicles.
To add to the mix, Former Labor Leader Bill Shorten actually drives a Tesla Model 3.