‘World’s Worst EV Policy’ Scrapped by High Court


State based electric vehicle taxes have been struck down by the High Court of Australia, paving the way for the Federal Government to act on increasing the uptake and availability of EVs across the country, the Australia Institute has said.

Key points:

  • State based EV taxes, dubbed the ‘worst electric vehicle policy in the world’ by a coalition of industry groups, car manufacturers and environmentalists, have been scrapped by the High Court of Australia.
  • Australia still lags the world when it comes to electric vehicle policies and the uptake of EVs.
  • The Federal Government’s long-awaited policy on Fuel Efficiency Standards, due to be released before the end of this year, needs to be rigorous and in line with vehicle markets like New Zealand and the EU to have effect.

“Specifically penalising Australian motorists for making the switch to a cleaner, less polluting transport technology never made sense,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, South Australian director at the Australia Institute.

“Our research showed that these taxes were acting as a barrier to EV adoption and were dragging those states who were foolish enough to adopt them in the wrong direction. It is good that the taxes have been scrapped.

“Governments at all levels in our country are failing to show the level of policy ambition required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and meet their supposed carbon reduction targets.

“Congratulations should go to all of the organisations, community members and advocates who challenged these clean air taxes over recent years.

“Special acknowledgement should go to the South Australian Malinauskas Government, which recognised the backwards nature of this policy long ago and led the nation by repealing the state’s EV tax earlier this year.

“Australia is a long way behind the rest of the world when it comes to EV adoption and, with the scrapping of these state-based policies, attention will now turn to the Federal Government. Tinkering at the edges with modest reforms will not get us to where we need to be when it comes to reducing carbon pollution from the transport sector in Australia.

“Until Australia adopts Fuel Efficiency Standards in line with vehicle markets like New Zealand and the EU, we will remain a dumping ground for older, dirtier and more inefficient vehicles.”