AGL recommends careful design for road user charge in SA to support uptake of EVs

The South Australian Government is currently consulting on the design of a road user charge for zero and low emissions vehicles (ZLEVs).

AGL made a formal submission to the consultation, a copy of which is available here.

AGL recommends the SA Government:

  1. In the short-term, should not proceed with establishing a road user charge for ZLEVs to ensure continued EV uptake consistent with the SA Government’s Electric Vehicle Action Plan and longer-term emissions reduction targets;
  2. Work with other Australian governments to develop a nationally harmonised fuel and transport pricing reform program to accelerate the uptake of EVs in the short-term whilst laying the groundwork for a distance-based road user pricing framework in the long-term; and
  3. If the SA Government decides to establish a road user charge for ZLEVs, incorporate design elements as a second-best solution to mitigate its impact on consumer demand and confidence in EV uptake.

We acknowledge that establishing a road-user charging framework will be integral to establishing a sustainable revenue model to support the maintenance and improvement of Australia’s road networks into the future with the advent of emerging technologies such as ZLEVs.

However, with the comparatively small market for EVs that currently exists in Australia, we consider the introduction of any charges or taxes on EVs in their infancy will disincentivise consumers to purchase an EV and therefore stunt the development of this emerging industry and make it difficult for the SA Government to achieve their emissions reductions targets.