High Court ruling on electric vehicle tax a victory for climate, Labor must now provide refunds


The Victorian Greens have hailed today’s high court decision to strike down the state’s electric vehicle tax as a victory for the climate, as well as road users wanting to do their part to reduce transport-related emissions.

The Greens say the Victorian Labor Government must now provide refunds to the electric vehicle users who were caught up in this backwards, unfair tax.

Earlier today the high court ruled Labor’s EV tax unconstitutional. This decision means that the current Victorian tax on fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will need to stop.

The Greens say removing the electric vehicle tax in Victoria will help improve electric vehicle uptake across the state and drive down emissions from polluting petrol cars, but that Labor needs to make up for the backwards and unfair tax by providing incentives to increase uptake of EVs.

Labor cut subsidies for purchasing electric vehicles in the 2023 Budget, almost a year earlier than planned, leaving Victoria out of step with the rest of Australia where state incentives make EVs more affordable.

When Labor first introduced the tax, it was described as the “worst electric vehicle policy in the world”, and cemented Victoria’s position as a laughing stock.

The Greens fought tooth and nail to defeat the tax, yet both Labor and the Liberals joined forces to push it through the Parliament.

Victorian Greens transport spokesperson, Katherine Copsey, said transport was the fastest growing source of emissions in Victoria, made worse by Labor disincentivising people from switching to electric cars. 

She said Labor needed to refund all electric vehicle drivers the tax they had already paid, repeal the tax in Parliament, and follow what other world-leading countries are doing and introduce subsidies and incentives for people to switch to electric vehciles and other climate-friendly transport options.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens transport spokesperson, Katherine Copsey MLC:

“It is beyond ridiculous that Labor in Victoria is trying to make it harder and more expensive for people to bring down transport emissions and switch to electric cars. 

“Labor must now refund all electric car owners who paid this tax, and re-introduce subsidies and incentives for people to switch to electric cars and other climate-friendly forms of transport.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“This decision in the High Court today is a victory for all those who want to see governments take stronger climate action.

“We’re in a climate crisis, and transport is our fastest growing source of emissions, so it’s just ridiculous that Labor in Victoria is making it harder and more expensive for people to reduce their emissions with electric cars. 

“Labor needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a proper plan to get more petrol cars off the road, and help people switch to climate-friendly transport options.”