Tim Storer Independent Senator for SA
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Storer's EV Roadmap

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Storer’s EV Roadmap

“The Australian Government should prioritise the development of a national EV strategy and an inter-governmental taskforce to lead its implementation.”

That is the key finding of the report of the Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Electric Vehicles, chaired by Tim Storer, Independent Senator for South Australia.

The inquiry, which received 137 submissions and heard from 85 witnesses, has produced 17 recommendations by consensus of the entire committee to accelerate take up of EVs and take advantage of the opportunities the EV transformation presents.

“I am pleased that all members of the committee agreed that Australia lags behind other countries in EV take up because of the ‘relative absence of overarching policy direction from Australian governments’,” said Senator Storer.

The committee also acknowledged that without “appropriate regulatory settings, Australia’s near term EV uptake is likely to be modest” with the result of “fewer EV models being available to Australian motorists” as well as delaying “the realisation of substantial economic, environmental and health benefits”.

The committee agreed the Australian government should develop and lead a national EV strategy and that there should be national targets for EV take up.  It should develop a comprehensive plan for rollout of public charging infrastructure, as well as develop and implement an EV and EV component manufacturing roadmap.

These are fine intentions, but neither as effective nor as responsible as a package of measures I proposed to the Committee to accelerate the take up of EVs and address longer-term challenges while maintaining the integrity of the budget:

  • EVs should be exempt from import tariffs and Fringe Benefits Tax out to 2025-26
  • there should be a mandated target of 50 percent of all new Australian government fleet leases to be EVs by 2025-26
  • the Australian government should help underwrite reductions to the cost of EV registration and stamp duty
  • the Australian government should support the roll out of fast charging infrastructure on highways and in workplaces
  • the Australian government should fund EV technology R&D, and EV and EV component manufacturing opportunities

According to modelling from the PBO, sensible and long overdue changes to the Luxury Car Tax would boost the budget by more than $1.5b over the forward estimates.

The package of measures I proposed would be revenue neutral over the forward estimates. (Attachment A)

Further, I proposed phasing in a Road User Charge for EVs from 2025-26.

“As the contribution of fuel excise to the cost of building and maintaining our roads declines, it is only equitable that owners of EVs make a contribution to our transport infrastructure,” said the Senator.

“EVs are projected to achieve price parity with ICE vehicles by the middle of the coming decade, so it would be responsible and equitable policy to delay the introduction of a Road User Charge for EVs until 2025-26.”

 “My package is responsible, evidence based policy making with clear benefits for the motorist, community health, the environment, the economy and the budget,” said Senator Storer.

“Even though we are now in the shadow of an election, the major parties decided not to put their money where their mouths are with regard to specific measures to accelerate uptake. That is despite their acknowledgement that accelerated take up of EVs would have ‘substantial economic, environmental and health benefits’,” said Senator Storer.

“The public deserve to know before they cast their votes exactly what the parties vying to form the next government plan to do to lift Australia’s EV game.”

“That said, I appreciate the spirit with which all Senators approached the task and for their efforts to achieve consensus, especially on the need for a national strategy and targets for the take up of EVs .”

 

Measure

Fiscal impact (2018-19 to 2021-22)

Changes to the Luxury Car Tax (narrowing definition of fuel efficient vehicles to 4L/100km, returning the standard vehicle rate to $57,180, and indexing both to vehicle CPI) 

$1.54 billion

Introduction of Road User Charge on EVs from 2025-26, phased in over five years and levied at same rate at fuel excise  

$0

Subtotal

$1.54 billion

Exempting EVs from import tariffs until 2025-26

-$300 million

Exempting EVs from fringe benefit tax until 2025-26

-$140 million

Mandating 50% of all new Australian Government fleet leases be EVs by 2025-26

-$5 million

State/Territory EV registration/stamp duty reduction co-funding

-$390 million

Highway and workplace charging infrastructure grant funding

-$300 million

EV manufacturing grants scheme

-$300 million

EV research and development grants scheme

-$100 million

Subtotal

-$1.535 billion