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Both the Victorian and NSW governments are seriously considering the introduction of road user charges for electric vehicles as early as next year.

The Age is reporting that Victoria is set to be the first adopter, with senior government figures confirming consultations have begun for potential adoption in May’s Victorian state budget.

It has been reported that there have been “a lot of conversations” and the tax “was on the radar” as both Victoria and NSW look for reforms to stimulate a stalling economy.

The federal government is grappling with a projected sharp shortfall in the $11.3 billion fuel excise budget as the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics forecasts 60 per cent of all new cars sold to be electric-powered by 2046. Tax revenue from fuel excise has already fallen 30 per cent since 2001.

“Treasurers around the country are looking for ways to boost the productivity of their economies, and they need look no further than levelling the playing field on how we pay for roads,” said Infrastructure Partnerships Australia CEO, Adrian Dwyer, in a press release.

“Right now, a person driving a petrol car is paying fuel excise at the pump, while electric vehicle drivers pay nothing to drive on the roads.

“Applying a simple distance-based charge to electric vehicles will ensure every motorist makes a fair and sustainable contribution to the use of the roads and will help secure a vital stream of transport funding for generations to come.

“While a shift to electric vehicles could be great for the environment, we still need to make sure we can fund transport services to help people spend less time in their cars.

“That is why Infrastructure Partnerships Australia is calling for a road user charge on electric vehicles.

“Governments have a brief window of opportunity to implement this whole of network reform before there is an electric car in every driveway, but they have to move quickly.”