Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cabinet plugs in to reduced RUC rate for hybrid EVs

Cabinet has today agreed to a reduced road user charge (RUC) rate for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Transport Minister Simeon Brown said owners of PHEVs will be eligible for a reduced rate of $38 per 1,000km once all light electric vehicles (EVs) move into the RUC system from 1 April. 

“Having a reduced RUC rate for PHEVs recognises that these vehicles use both petrol and have a battery to power the vehicle,” said the Minister.

“This change seeks to balance the need for these vehicles to fairly pay for the use of the road and the variable range of fuel efficiencies within PHEVs. Not having a reduced rate would mean they would be required to pay a full RUC rate and then claim back any petrol excise used which would have been administratively difficult and open to fraud.

“I asked the Select Committee to test the Government’s earlier decision to set the discount for PHEVs from the full RUC at 30%. The Government has agreed this should go further given there are a range of PHEVs with a range of fuel efficiencies.”

Minister Brown says the reduced RUC rate for PHEVs is a temporary measure to lessen distortions while the Government works on transitioning the entire vehicle fleet to the road user charges system and away from fuel excise.

“Currently there is variability in what different vehicles pay in the RUC and fuel excise duty system as highlighted by this issue. Increased fuel efficiency of vehicles, and the rise of electric vehicles, hybrids, and PHEVs, has created variances in what motorists pay for use of the road.”

“This has meant that less fuel efficient vehicles, often owned by low-income households, end up paying more in fuel excise duty than owners of later model, more fuel efficient, vehicles.

“The ACT-National coalition agreement commits the Coalition Government to introduce road user charges for all vehicles so that all motorists pay the same amount to use the road based on distance and weight, rather than what type of fuel powers their vehicle’s engine,” he said.

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