Community campaign Charge Ahead says the South Australian Government’s plan to tax electric vehicles and only offer a small, short-term incentive will slow the state’s transition to more sustainable cars.

The Marshall Government's latest proposal fails to provide the stamp duty discounts available in other states and will impose a tax on electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles from 2027.

Charge Ahead campaigner Alistair Perkins has called for South Australia's upper house crossbench to block the package in its current form.

“South Australia is a world-leader for renewable energy but is on track to become one of the first states to legislate a tax on electric vehicles,” Alistair Perkins said.

“This is an opportunity to harness renewable energy to reduce fuel costs and cut transport emissions, but more incentives are needed to support the transition to cleaner cars."

Recent polling released by the Australia Institute found that a road user charge would make 70% of South Australians less likely to purchase an EV [1].

"We know a lot of motorists are keen to switch to an electric vehicle, but the upfront cost is a barrier.

"This announcement falls well short of the support available in New South Wales and will leave South Australia in the slow lane.

"We are pleased the government has deferred the introduction of an EV tax until 2027, but urge the opposition and crossbench to send this package back to the drawing board," he said.

Solar Citizens has launched the Charge Ahead campaign, which asks state governments to:

  • Defer the introduction of road user charges until EVs make up 50% of new car sales
  • Introduce financial subsidies to make EVs available to more people
  • Transition government fleets to electric by 2030
  • Invest in charging infrastructure and local EV and battery manufacturing

Charge Ahead is a campaign of Solar Citizens, a national organisation of rooftop solar owners and supporters advocating for clean energy and transport

[1] New tax to put the brakes on electric cars, Canberra Times, 15 August 2021