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Electric vehicle policy attracts ‘dirty vehicles’ to Australia: report

Flaws in federal government policy will stifle growth in Australia’s electric vehicle market and extend the popularity of fuel-powered cars beyond that in other developed nations, the Electric Vehicle Council says, but their key policy proposal has been rejected by the Deputy Prime Minister.

Electric vehicles comprise less than 1 per cent of the Australian market, but sales tripled last year from 2216 to 6718, according to the council’s annual report released on Wednesday. It also found sales have so far withstood the coronavirus pandemic, with 3226 vehicles sold in the first half of this year.

Coming off a low base of less than 1 per cent of the passenger vehicle market, electric vehicle sales tripled in 2019, rising from 2216 to 6718.

Coming off a low base of less than 1 per cent of the passenger vehicle market, electric vehicle sales tripled in 2019, rising from 2216 to 6718.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari called on the federal government to encourage uptake by ruling out a road user charge on electric vehicles. NSW and Victoria are considering the charge as a way of maintaining their tax revenue.

“Australia could do a huge amount to encourage the transition by unequivocally ruling out the road user charge proposal,” he said. “If we were to introduce a road user charge we would become the only nation on the planet to hit electric vehicles with a special tax.”

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