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RAA calls for a review of road user charges

Tuesday, 14th May 2019

RAA is urging the next federal government to review road user charges after revealing families with two cars are paying more than $1000 a year in fuel excise while electric car owners pay none.

Electric vehicles have been a hot topic during the federal election campaign and RAA is calling on the party which forms the next national government to review road charges to replace the fuel excise.

RAA Senior Manager Future Mobility Mark Borlace said an increase in electric vehicles would impact on the revenue raised by the federal fuel excise, currently charged at 41.6c a litre.

“As part of its pre-election priorities, RAA is urging the next federal government to investigate replacing the fuel excise with a more equitable road user charge,’’ Mr Borlace said.

“RAA estimates South Australians pay almost $1 billion a year in fuel excise, but those who drive an electric car aren’t contributing to this revenue, even though they are also using the roads

“That’s why RAA is calling for the next federal government to create a scheme to ensure owners and operators of all vehicles continue to contribute to maintaining and upgrading the road network to maximise its quality, safety and efficiency in the future.

“The government needs to explore ways to fairly share the burden of maintaining and improving the road network as the use of electric cars becomes more prevalent and conventional vehicles become more fuel efficient.’’

Mr Borlace said that RAA would be happy to work with the Australian Automobile Association and the government to explore a fairer way of funding the road network.

“RAA supports the use of electric cars as a way to reduce pollution levels,” he said.

“RAA also supports government incentives that increase the uptake of electric vehicles where their use has a proven environmental benefit and do not come at the expense of other road users.”

According to RAA calculations, a family with both a sedan and medium sized SUV, each travelling 12,000 kilometres a year, would pay over $1000 annually in total fuel excise.

In contrast, a family with electric vehicles would pay no fuel excise. 

It is estimated that electric vehicles will account for 28 per cent of new car purchases by 2030, according to evidence presented to the Senate select committee on electric vehicles by independent research body Bloomberg NF in August last year.

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