The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Electric progress



Arecent High Court ruling in favour of electric vehicle owners has raised questions about the current and future use of EVS in the Wimmera.

The High Court’s decision, on October 18, found the state of Victoria lacked the constituti­onal power to impose its zero and low emission road-user charge.

Two EV owners launched a lawsuit in the wake of the introducti­on of an ‘EV tax’ – which would charge owners two cents per kilometre driven.

It was introduced because EV drivers avoided the fuel excise paid by petrol and diesel motorists – which funded road maintenanc­e in the state.

Horsham EV owner Richard Allan said the tax did not make him secondgues­s his ownership of an electric vehicle.

“It didn’t deter me at all, it was just painful,” he said.

“You want people to get into EVS because they are much healthier for the environmen­t.

“A tax is fair enough when it’s 50 percent EVS on the road, but not when there is one percent.” Wade Morrow of Morrow Motor Group said it would be interestin­g to see how the Federal Government would react to the ruling.

“At some point, they are going to have to get some money back because at the moment, the only money they get is through the fuel excise,” he said.

“As everything shifts to electric, someone is going to have to be charged along the way.

“There’s something like $12 billion that will go south.”

Mr Allan said he did not find EV ownership a challenge, despite a perceived lack of infrastruc­ture to support the vehicles in regional areas.

“There’s an app that shows you all the charging stations and there are chargers everywhere,” he said.

“I even drove up to Sydney and back a few years ago.”

Mr Morrow said there was currently a small market for EVS in the Wimmera, comprised of two main groups.

“There are the first-adopters, those who want to get out there and try something new,” he said.

“It’s also the people who have done the homework on what people are saying. It may be from a green point of view, but often for them they see it as a cost-saving thing.”

Mr Morrow said while there were some great aspects about EVS, there were also several limitation­s to be aware of.

He said depreciati­on of an EV was a factor to consider before purchasing.

“In 10 years, an EV is worth basically nothing because you usually have to replace the batteries,” he said.

“At this point, the battery costs are somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 to fit them.”

Mr Morrow said another challenge for EV owners, especially in regional

areas, was ‘range anxiety’. “Range anxiety is where, depending on your trip, you have to plan it. Even then, a spanner can be thrown in the works,” he said.

“For example, you go from here to Adelaide and the first lot of charging stations are at Kaniva.

“If there are two charging stations and there’s already two vehicles parked there, you have to wait.

“For someone that’s using it for a long business trip, the practicali­ties there are a little bit unfavourab­le.”

Mr Morrow said despite these concerns, car dealers were preparing for more demand for EV servicing.

“We are set-up now to fix electric cars and are actually about to start putting some charge stations in place,” he said.

“I think it’s a long-term investment. In metropolit­an areas, it will be a little bit more applicable but out here, it’s going to be a few years before things really ramp up to where we are going to be servicing a lot of electric cars.”

 ?? ?? CHARGED: Electric vehicle owner Richard Allan charges his car at a Baillie Street charging station in Horsham.
CHARGED: Electric vehicle owner Richard Allan charges his car at a Baillie Street charging station in Horsham.

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