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SA moves to scrap tax on electric vehicles

Legislation to scrap plans for an electric car tax has gone before the South Australian parliament.

The move follows an election promise from the new Labor government to axe the proposed user charge amid claims it sent the wrong message to motorists who are considering the switch to the greener energy option.

Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis said a recent survey showed seven in 10 South Australians were less likely to buy an electric vehicle if a user charge was introduced.

“We want more South Australians making more environmentally friendly choices, not putting in barriers that dissuade them,” he said.

“The feedback we received from the community was overwhelming. The decision to introduce this tax would have reduced community uptake.”

Under the previous Liberal government’s plan, the tax was initially due to take effect from July this year, but was later delayed until July 2027, or when electric vehicle sales reached 30 per cent of total sales.

The Liberals also offered $3000 subsidies for electric cars.

Former treasurer Rob Lucas backed the idea of a tax to help ensure there was a long-term sustainable model for critical road funding.

“Currently, drivers of zero- and low-emission vehicles pay little or no fuel excise,” he said last year.

“A road user charge is necessary to ensure that all vehicle owners, regardless of what car they drive, contribute to the upkeep of our roads into the future.”

Modelled on similar schemes in NSW and Victoria, SA’s tax was to be calculated at two cents per kilometre for plug-in hybrids, and 2.5c/km for any other electric vehicles.

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