SA delays electric car tax, adds subsidies

·2-min read

Plans for a tax on electric vehicles have been delayed for five years and the South Australian government will offer a $3000 subsidy to motorists who buy new electric cars.

The measures are part of an $18 million package to help drive the sale of zero and low-emission vehicles with the legislation to be introduced to parliament on Thursday.

The subsidies will be provided for up to 6000 electric-only vehicles while the proposed tax, which was due to start in July next year, has now be stalled until July 2027 or when electric vehicle sales reach 30 per cent of the total market.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the government was committed to investing to help increase demand for environmentally friendly vehicles while ensuring there was a long-term sustainable model for critical road funding.

He said the subsidies for new electric vehicles were consistent with those introduced in Victoria but were contingent on the legislation for the new tax passing the parliament.

"While we accept that looks unlikely at this stage, we remain hopeful," he said.

"Currently, drivers of zero and low-emission vehicles pay little or no fuel excise.

"But ultimately as the state transitions towards a higher concentration of zero and low-emission vehicles, there will be a corresponding reduction in the number of motorists paying fuel excise which contributes to vital road funding to help maintain and improve the state's road network.

"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, the road user charge would be calculated at two cents per km for plug-in hybrids, and 2.5 cents per km for any other electric vehicles.

The road user charge would be calculated and billed in arrears as part of the vehicle registration process.

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