Thursday 12 May 2022

Western Australia to implement RUC for EVs, Auckland congestion charging to be announced, Virginia launches RUC in July 2022

I've been very busy, but there are some announcements worth noting as follows

Western Australia announces it will introduce distance-based RUC on EVs in 2017

As part of an package of measures to incentivise increased sales of electric vehicles, the Western Australian Premier has announced that the state government will introduce 

 introduce a distance-based road user charge for zero and low emission light vehicles commencing from July 1, 2027 to ensure all motorists pay their fair share towards the maintenance and construction of WA roads.

A base rate of 2.5 cents per kilometre for electric and hydrogen vehicles and two cents per kilometre for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will apply, with both rates indexed to the Consumer Price Index.

This parallels what has already been announced in New South Wales, what has been introduced in Victoria in 2021 and what was also announced for South Australia (but for which the recently elected Labor Government has vowed to repeal).

Western Australia has some history in looking at heavy vehicle RUC, but it will be interesting to see how this may be implemented, as it could be a simple odometer reporting based system given there is little interstate light vehicle traffic. 

New Zealand Government to make announcement on progressing congestion pricing in Auckland next week

It has been studied and investigated for some time, but Radio New Zealand is reporting (alongside other media outlets) that when the New Zealand Government Emissions Reduction Plan is released on Monday 16 May, it will also announce it will implement congestion pricing for Auckland.  It is likely to be focused on a downtown inner city cordon-style scheme at peak times only, but with the potential to expand into corridor charging beyond that. It also appears that the net revenue may be used to offset a cut and eventual abolition of the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax established only in 2018 to help fund transport projects in the city.  That tax is currently at NZ$0.125 per litre including Goods and Service Tax.

Virginia to launch RUC for EVs on 1 July 2022

Virginia will be the third US state to implement distance-based RUC for light vehicles on 1 July according to NBC12.  Branded "Mileage Choice" it will offer EV, hybrid or other ultra fuel efficient vehicle owners the choice of paying by mile instead of paying a flat annual fee for registration (currently US$109 per annum).  Distance will be measuredly a plug-in device supplied by Emovis, with an initial odometer reading captured by smartphone imaging to register.