AGL calls for national policy and regulatory framework to accelerate the uptake and grid integration of electric vehicles

The Commonwealth Senate Economics Legislative Committee is currently reviewing the COAG Reform Fund Amendment (No Electric Vehicle Taxes) Bill 2020 (Inquiry). 

The Bill, tabled by the Australian Greens, seeks to neutralise the revenue effect of taxes and charges imposed by states and territories on the purchase and use of electric vehicles (EVs). 

AGL recently responded to the Inquiry with a formal submission, a copy of which is available here

Accelerating the uptake of EVs will be an integral technology pathway for decarbonising Australia’s economy. As we previously observed to the 2018 Select Committee on Electric Vehicles, the widespread uptake of EVs, when coupled with the decarbonisation of the electricity grid and increasing penetration of local solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, presents a substantial opportunity to deliver emissions reductions consistent with Australia’s long-term commitments under the Paris Agreement.

We are concerned by the South Australian and Victorian governments’ announcements last year to introduce road charges for EVs.

We support the view in this Bill that Australia will be best served by a national electric vehicle strategy. With the comparatively small market that exists in Australia, the introduction of short-sighted and ad-hoc taxes will stunt the development of this emerging industry and leave Australia well behind other developed nations.

AGL supports a nationally harmonised distance-based road user pricing framework that can be applied equally to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and EVs. Initially, this framework should be applied to ICE vehicles only to test the parameters of the framework whilst supporting the continued development of  Australia’s EV market. EVs should only be transitioned into the road user pricing framework In the medium term (5-10 years and as EVs reach price parity with ICE vehicles).

We elaborate the key elements of a coordinated policy and regulatory framework in our submission.