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Victoria, Australia, proposing extra tax on EVs


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,003 ✭✭✭ fricatus

    There's a motoring journalist in Australia who I enjoy listening to - John Cadogan, who runs the AutoExpert YouTube channel. Once you get past the blokiness and sexism that died here around 2000, he's quite objective, and very much to his credit, he is open to revising his opinions as the facts change.

    His own car is a Santa Fe something-or-other, but he has a Kona EV on long-term test, and he's very happy with it, so he's not one of these people who's never even bothered to sit into an EV. However his view (from down there in Down Under) is that EVs are far too expensive, and will be only a niche proposition for at least the next 10-15 years. Basically the cost of batteries render them far too expensive, and there is no economic rationale for buying one. Only eco-fundamentalists and virtue-signallers could possibly see the value in them. He does give two further advantages: air pollution (a big deal in Australia, where they allow five times as much sulphur in fuel than we do), plus energy security (they can burn their own coal to generate electricity until the sun swells up, but have only a month's reserve of liquid fuels).

    Personally I think his views are influenced by being in a big, empty country so far away from everywhere else, and where petrol is cheap and electricity expensive. However it gives you an idea of where an intelligent and rational Aussie is likely to stand on the issue.

    His thinking on this tax is that it's a typical politician's move, and there's no strategy behind it. Australia doesn't even seem to be having a national conversation about EVs, and this is just another disjointed action.

    Playing devil's advocate, I can see why the Treasury people would want this. It's so easy to bring in, because there's little resistance from the tiny cohort of EV owners, and then new owners will just accept it as part of the package.

    From a strategic point of view, I can't make up my mind whether they're right or wrong. Should they be early adopters, like Norway, and suffer all the inconvenience that that entails, such as ageing first-generation equipment that needs replacing, as our E-Cars chargers do now, or should they wait until the technology is well advanced and just go for it then? There are examples of African countries that never had landlines, and just jumped straight ahead into mobile technology, and maybe Australia is happy just to do this with EVs?

    The danger in this, with the current trajectory of EV adoption elsewhere, is that when we reach the tipping point, Australia will find itself woefully unprepared for EV adoption, and could become a dumping ground for all sorts of crappy fossil cars that can't be sold anywhere else. It will certainly be an interesting case study.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,591 ✭✭✭ Markcheese

    Well yeah ,at the moment the government want everyone driving evs , so they're playing nice .
    Once there's a significant uptake the fuel taxs incomes are gonna drop , so logically motor tax will increase , and that'll be no big deal ( there'll be mass whinging though ) , because the running costs are so low ...
    But the aussie state promoting this now are a bit bonkers ...way Too early ..

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦

  • Registered Users Posts: 213 ✭✭ pdpmur

    Markcheese wrote: »
    But the aussie state promoting this now are a bit bonkers ...way Too early ..

    Or possibly very cunning, if you agree with the contention in the article that the tax is being introduced now precisely because it's way too early to affect any significant proportion of electorate and so won't face any significant resistance

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,468 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen

    When I drove in Australia back in the early noughties, down the east coast, i was struck by how slow everyone drove, due to a combination of low speed limits, zealous speeding enforcement and absence of lane discipline.

    That combined with lack of low winter temperatures ought to make it a decent place for EVs.

    Also, I assume that charger placement is a bit easier as population is concentrated at the coasts.

    Electricity looks slightly more expensive than Ireland, but petrol is only 0.75EUR/litre, so I guess the fuel savings aren't really there.