As 2020 drew to a close, the state of Victoria in Australia announced plans to introduce a new road user tax for electric vehicles (“EVs”). According to officials, drivers with conventional gas and diesel-powered vehicles paid to maintain the roads via a national excise tax on fuel, and this new tax was designed to ensure EV drivers paid their fair share as well. The proposed annual tax was immediately condemned by the electric vehicle industry and environmental groups who said it would be detrimental to Australia’s fledgling EV sector.
This past Saturday, two electric vehicle groups held separate demonstrations protesting a $150 yearly tax that the Saskatchewan and Saskatoon governments plan to start levying on electric vehicles from Oct. 1, 2020. The provincial governments claim that this annual EV tax is meant to address the wear and tear electric vehicles cause on provincial roads. However, Joe Murray, vice chair of the Tesla Owners Club of Saskatchewan, argues that there are barely enough EVs (less than 1% of the vehicles on the road) to cause much damage to provincial roads.
Additionally, most electric vehicles are used in urban areas where there is a higher concentration of public charging stations compared to the highways, which have fewer charging stations. Consequently, says Murray, any money the authorities collect via the electric vehicle tax would be going to places that aren’t even EV friendly. Levying such a tax at a time when Canada’s fledgling industry is just starting out would impede its progress, he says, adding that the tax is “regressive” and is a hindrance to a “green transition.”
Jason Cruickshank, president of the SaskEV Society, concurs, saying that the tax is quite disappointing given that there are only around 400 electric vehicles in Saskatoon. The SaskEV Society held its rally in Saskatoon while the Tesla Owners of Saskatchewan demonstrated in Regina.
It’s way too early for the provincial government to be considering an electric vehicle tax, Cruickshank says, especially considering just how limited Saskatoon’s fast-charging network is. With only a single highway in the entire province equipped with fast-charging infrastructure, the Saskatoon group hopes more fast chargers capable of fully charging a vehicle in 30 minutes will be installed on provincial highways in the coming years. In the meantime, he calls the tax petty, saying that it sends the wrong message at a time when governments should be focusing on cutting carbon emissions and transitioning to zero-emission vehicles.
The transition to zero-emission automobiles is being aided by the efforts of numerous companies, such as Clean Power Capital Corp. (CSE: MOVE) (FWB: 2K6A) (OTC: MOTNF), which are investing in viable alternatives like hydrogen fuel.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Clean Power Capital Corp. (CSE: MOVE) (FWB: 2K6A) (OTC: MOTNF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MOTNF
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