EV tax explained : “Replacing tobacco excise with nicotine patch tax”

A Victorian Government fact sheet spells out how the contentious EV tax will be charged and when and how it will need to be paid

Victorians who own electric vehicles will have to self-report how many kilometres they have driven when paying the new Zero and Low Emission Vehicles (ZLEV) Road-User Charge, to be introduced from July 2021.

According to a state government ZLEV Road User Charge fact sheet, drivers will need to report their odometer readings to VicRoads.

“You can do this when you pay your vehicle registration using the myVicRoads online portal. The myVicRoads online portal will generate a bill based on your reported odometer readings.

As with vehicle registration, you can pay your ZLEV road-user charge quarterly, semi-annually or annually, based on what works for you.

“VicRoads will be contacting vehicle owners to provide more detail on their reporting obligations and the billing and payment process.”

Unlike the fuel excise, which is paid in relatively small amounts whenever you refuel, ZLEV drivers will have to pay a higher lump sum on top of their registration bill.

How much will ZLEV owners pay?

Under the ZLEV Road-User Charge zero-emission vehicles such as battery EVs and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles will incur a 2.5c/kilometre charge, while plug-in hybrid vehicles will be charged at a rate of 2.0c/kilometre because they also contribute to the federal government’s fuel excise.

This means a BEV that travels 15,000km in a year will be up for a ZLEV charge of $375.

The fact sheet presents different scenarios including Patrick, who usually uses his Tesla Model S to commute to work and to get around on the weekends.

He typically drives 10,000km a year. Patrick will need to pay 2.5c/km – $250 a year in total – in distance-based charges.

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