Today, like many Victorian electric vehicle owners, I submitted a reading of my odometer to VicRoads. At 6:20am, the email arrived from VicRoads with the subject line ‘Odometer declaration required for XXX-XXX’. The email continued on, detailing what the Zero and Low Emission Vehicles (ZLEVs) road-user charge was all about.
On 1 July 2021, a distance-based road-user charge was introduced in Victoria for all registered zero and low emission vehicles (ZLEVs).
As the operator of vehicle BDQ942, you are now required to participate in this scheme by providing a current declaration of your vehicle odometer reading.
What do you need to do?
Within 14 days of the request date you will need to declare your vehicle’s current odometer reading by providing a photograph of your dashboard odometer clearly showing the kilometres travelled. Declare online via myVicRoads or visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.
Any days between 1 July and when you submit your opening reading will be calculated based on your average daily use.
When the EV tax was first being approved, the process of submitting your odometer reading sounded like a mess. Originally the Victorian Government were planning to have EV owners email in photos, but thankfully by the time July 1st rolled around, they had an online system in place.
In the email was a simple ‘Declare now‘ button which took you to the VicRoads website to login. I already had an account and I expect many others would too. After signing in, the Vehicle Registration page highlighted the requirement to now capture and submit an odometer reading with a big ‘Declare now’ button.
From here the process was quite simple, just submit the digits of your current Odometer and upload a photo as evidence. Having a Model 3, I had considered just firing up the mobile app, taking a screenshot and submitting that, but was not sure that counted as the evidence they were after, so I went to the car, pulled up the Software screen and snapped a photo with 25,732km as my current reading.
From here, any kilometer I drive, will cost me 2.5 cents. The crazy thing is, it doesn’t matter if I drive across the border (I live in Albury Wodonga) to NSW, I would still be paying, despite the justification being that this will go to fund Victorian road maintenance. Practically there is no requirement on the Victorian Government to use the revenue raised to maintain or improve roads.
Now that we have submitted our Odometer reading as a starting point, at the end of each registration period, we will be required to provide a new odometer reading and be invoiced for any road use.
Some EV owners chose to make their submissions a little more colourful which I’m sure will give the people at VicRoads something to laugh at during Friday avo drinks.
While venting your frustrations is certainly understandable, the system is now in place, and now this pandoras box is open, it’s not closing.
Whatever EV owners feel today, the reality is that there are simply not enough EV owners right now, to make this politically difficult. There were some very embarrassing international headlines for the Victorian Government, but by the time the next election rolls around, they’ll be long forgotten.
The average yearly distanced travelled by light passenger vehicles in Victoria is 13,500km. In the 12 months from 1 July 2021, electric vehicle registered operators could expect to pay $337.50 and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles registered operators to pay $270 in ZLEV road-user charges.
You can get more information on the ZLEV at VicRoads.vic.gov.au