Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Australian Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher wants a new system of road charging, which ends the free ride enjoyed by electric cars which do not have to pay fuel tax.
Electric cars are breaking our roads, here’s how
And what the future holds for the neighbourhoods that need their cars the most.
By Jackson Gothe-Snape
In 2018, Australia’s roads are plagued with problems: the long-term decline in the road death toll has slowed, congestion is tipped to increase and long commutes are linked to poor mental health.
And now a multi-billion-dollar road funding black hole looms.
It’s caused by the growing popularity of fuel-efficient cars, prompting a multi-generational reset to national roads policy which will change how you pay to drive.
For the people who rely most on their vehicles, that means trouble.
A Tesla-shaped loophole
Fuel excise means — for most drivers at least — the more they drive, the more they pay.
However, low-emission vehicles are letting some drivers get away charge-free.
The CSIRO has predicted revenue coming from fuel excise will drop by almost half by 2050.
Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher argues the current road funding system has “some features that don’t seem very fair”.
“If you’re buying a 10-year-old Commodore, the amount you’re paying is effectively four-and-a-half cents per kilometre.”
The Federal Government is looking at ways to more closely link how people use the roads with what they pay.
The EV honeymoon was never going to last. The current Australian government, to their credit, seem keen to balance the Federal budget. Rich electric car owners are a tax plum ripe for the plucking.