Legislative Council: Thursday, December 01, 2022



Motor Vehicles (Electric Vehicle Levy) Amendment Repeal Bill

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 3 November 2022.)

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (15:26): I rise to indicate that I am the lead speaker for the opposition on this bill. In October 2021, the former Liberal government introduced the EV levy act in response to prevailing and emerging electric vehicle ownership in South Australia. The former Treasurer, the Hon. Rob Lucas, was the lead minister for this policy, and it was developed in coordination with other state Treasurers through the Board of Treasurers Forum.

The road user charge was modelled on similar schemes in New South Wales and Victoria at that time to ensure national consistency as far as possible. Since commencement of the act in South Australia only last year, the Tasmanian and Western Australian governments have also signalled they will be introducing a similar road user charge. In fact, Queensland remains the only jurisdiction that is yet to consider introducing a similar scheme.

During development of the legislation, the former Liberal government received support from key industry bodies, including the RAA, federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. They all supported the introduction of a road user charge that would help drive the take-up of environmentally friendly zero and low-emission vehicles, whilst ensuring there is a long-term sustainable model for critical road funding.

The EV levy act introduces a road user charge for electric vehicles, calculated at 2ȼ per kilometre indexed for plug-in hybrid vehicles, and 2.5ȼ per kilometre indexed for any other electric vehicles. The road user charge is designed to be applied as part of the annual car registration process. This was estimated to result in the annual road user charge of around $305 for an average passenger electric vehicle. This compares to approximately $565 per annum, collected from fuel excise for the average passenger internal combustion engine vehicle.

The lower per kilometre charge recognises the environmental and health benefits associated with electric vehicles. This road user charge is due to commence from July 2027, or when electric vehicles reach 30 per cent of new vehicle sales, whichever comes sooner. The charge was expected to generate $3.5 million in its first year, increasing to around $11 million in 2028-29. By 2030-31, it was estimated to raise $21 million, based on an estimated 40,000 vehicles being subject to the charge.

To provide an idea of the long-term revenue potential, if all vehicles were subject to the road user charge in 2020-21 it would generate approximately $410 million. Revenue raised through the road user charge was to be hypothecated, going into the existing highways fund, and it was the intention to expand the use of that fund to include expenditure on the installation and management of charging facilities for electric vehicles.

As Liberals, we are committed to protecting and strengthening South Australia's freedoms, its opportunities and its sense of fairness. We also believe in government being sufficiently responsible so that it can meet its proper obligations to its citizens. All motorists who drive petrol and diesel-powered cars pay a fuel excise of around 4.5¢ per kilometre. Much of the revenue the government collects from the fuel excise is used to pay for new roads, road maintenance and infrastructure.

Given EVs are battery powered, EV owners can avoid the existing fuel excise and hence avoid contributing to road maintenance and infrastructure. I would like to think that those members of our community who own electric vehicles would understand the sense of fairness and equality that comes with this act and this road user charge. Electric vehicles still use the same roads that every other vehicle uses. They still have the benefit of enjoying new roads, road upgrades and road infrastructure.

This is not a tax on EV vehicles: it is a road user charge that acknowledges that all vehicles use the roads around our state and it is only reasonable that every driver contributes to their maintenance and upkeep. The introduction of a road user charge is a way for EV owners to pay their fair share for road maintenance and infrastructure and contribute to the provision of government-funded EV charging infrastructure.

Currently, there are very few zero and low-emission vehicles in South Australia, with electric vehicles making up only 1.5 per cent of new vehicle sales in the state. However, it is expected that the uptake of electric vehicles will increase in the future as they reach price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles, not to mention the impact soaring petrol prices are likely to have on consumer demand.

We, as Liberals then in government, recognised the need to provide incentives and resources for the community to encourage the short-term uptake of electric vehicles until the market is able to sustain itself. In fact, to support the passage of the road user charge, the former Liberal government made a significant investment to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles, and when I say significant, I mean over $36 million committed.

This investment, importantly, included $13.4 million to accelerate the rollout of a statewide charging network targeting 53 preferred service locations to deliver approximately 500 rapid and fast-charging stations. It also encompassed an $18 million electric vehicle subsidy package, providing subsidies of $3,000 for the purchase of up to 6,000 electric vehicles in South Australia. It is worth noting that this subsidy is more generous than a similar subsidy offered in Victoria.

Finally, up to $3.6 million was earmarked for smart-charging trials to demonstrate how EVs can be coordinated to charge during periods of high renewable electricity generation or low demand to support the power grid. If Labor were really committed to the climate change cause, they would not have scrapped the previous Liberal government's Home Battery Scheme and the Switch for Solar program as part of its 2022-23 budget.

As previously mentioned, recognising the markets for EVs are still being established, the former Liberal government legislated for the road user charge to commence from 1 July 2027 or when the sale of battery electric vehicles reached 30 per cent of new motor vehicle sales in South Australia, whichever was earlier. The delay in the commencement of the road user charge was in response to feedback received from some groups during the consultation on the draft bill who felt that there should be a delay in the introduction of the road user charge until there is an increase in the uptake of electric vehicles.

Critics have argued the charge will discourage the uptake of EVs, which will impact the state's approach to addressing climate change; however, there is no reliable evidence to support this proposition. Just look over the border to Victoria, where an active road user charge already exists. The take-up of electric vehicles in that state is one of the fastest in the nation.

Without the EV levy act, the arrangements in place at the time would have resulted in EV owners arguably not paying their fair share of road maintenance and infrastructure through the avoidance of fuel excise taxes levied by the commonwealth government. Under current conditions, fuel excise has emerged gradually as an increasing unsustainable tax that will quickly become untenable as those who cannot afford an electric vehicle must foot a growing road bill for those who can. While fuel excise is a federal tax, states have been incentivised through the EV levy act to take a first mover advantage in claiming an ongoing revenue stream that is stable and reliable, in the form of a road user charge.

It is worth noting that the previous Liberal government's approach was taken in the absence of national reform. A national approach would ensure greater consistency between states and greater coordination of policy across state boundaries. However, it does require the states to cede power and revenue to the commonwealth. Given the states have moved to roll the policy out in a semi-coordinated fashion without the commonwealth, it will be difficult to roll this back. In the absence of nationally led reform, South Australia risks being one of the only jurisdictions without a policy to deal with the inevitable fall in fuel excise revenue.

Labor's commitment to repeal the Motor Vehicles (Electric Vehicle Levy) Amendment Act 2021 leaves some serious questions unaddressed. Serious questions arise regarding maintenance and management of the state's roads. For example, what will be Labor's alternative sustainable long-term road funding model that will replace the one established under the EV levy act, and how will this decision impact the future distribution of fuel excise from the Australian government to South Australia?

Will Labor commit to funding the $36 million in EV initiatives announced by the former Liberal government? How will future governments be able to maintain safe roads without the cost falling on those who cannot afford an EV? How will the revenue shortfall from reductions in the fuel excise be recovered? Will the repeal of the act lead to a reduction of maintenance and quality of road infrastructure? Will the repeal of the act lead to a reduction in road safety?

What are the current projections of electric vehicle penetration as a percentage of the total car fleet in South Australia? Has the government or Treasury modelled the cost of lost fuel excise from increasing EV penetration, and if so how much will the state lose? We look forward to having these questions answered prior to or during the committee stage. With that, I conclude my remarks.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:37): I rise to speak in support of repealing the Motor Vehicle (Electric Vehicle Levy) Amendment Act 2021. It is no surprise to anybody in this chamber that the Greens were very disappointed when the electric vehicle levy legislation was passed in this place last year. At that time, I reflected on what an embarrassing moment that was for our parliament and indeed for our state, as the Liberal Party, with the support of the SA-Best political party, set to trash our reputation as a clean, green state, set to trash what had been a reputation built over many years across all sides of politics in terms of working together to take climate action.

What we saw was, I think, a really embarrassing blemish on that proud record, where South Australia joined Victoria in becoming one of the only states in the country to have a tax being placed on electric vehicles, one that was actually going to disincentivise people from using electric vehicles during this time of climate crisis.

At that time, the Greens indicated that we would oppose these changes, this tax, tooth and nail. We took that commitment to the election and we welcomed, of course, the Labor Party campaigning strongly on this issue at the election as well. I am excited to now be returned to the parliament and to be in a position to make good on that commitment.

Electric vehicles are the way of the future. They have been shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing the costs for households. In this time of climate crisis and a cost-of-living crisis, having a tax on electric vehicles is absurd. Just last year, the RAA survey of South Australian drivers found that 78 per cent of people would consider purchasing an electric car. However, in this state we have a tax that dissuades electric vehicle ownership, and we have seen a real failure, I think, of government to look at what can be done to incentivise electric vehicles.

Australia, and indeed South Australia, has been lagging behind the world in the uptake of electric vehicles. The list of other jurisdictions that have set a date on the end of petrol vehicles continues to grow. China, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the UK have all made commitments to eliminate internal combustion engine vehicles. Here in South Australia, where we have a rich source of renewable energy, we are unfortunately not seizing the opportunity to use that energy to power our vehicles.

When the electric vehicle levy was being discussed in this place last year, I spoke of the need to remove roadblocks to purchasing these vehicles. While uptake of non-combustible engine vehicles is increasing, it is vital for us to do what we can to motivate the move towards a future without petrol cars. The Greens-Labor government in the ACT are moving to waive stamp duty, providing two years' free registration and $15,000 no interest loans for people who purchase electric vehicles. These are the actions of a government that has foresight and a real commitment to taking action on climate change.

Last year, I introduced a motion in this place calling on the then Marshall government to support electric vehicles in South Australia by offering real incentives to increase the uptake of these rather than following the flawed approach that was taken by the government in Victoria. I echo the sentiments of that call of last year and now call on the new Malinauskas government to provide these incentives. I really hope that, following on from its decision to axe the Liberals' tax on electric vehicles, the new government will consider incentives in their next budget, look at things like waiving stamp duty and look at rebate programs for electric vehicles so that we can really ramp up their use in South Australia.

Even electric vehicle manufacturers and automotive bodies have publicly renounced the idea of a road user charge. At the time, Hyundai described it as a 'disappointing development'. Community expectation is that we move towards electric vehicles and, when this is matched by the views and actions of car manufacturers, there really is no excuse for us to continue with an EV tax.

I must say, one of the big failures of both of the major political parties in this parliament over many years has been the failure to really invest in a manufacturing strategy that considers electric vehicles. We could have led the world when it came to manufacturing electric vehicles, but unfortunately the previous Rann government, when it gave significant subsidies to the car industry in South Australia, never had the foresight to look at investment in electric vehicles, and the Abbott government made the appallingly short-sighted decision to axe subsidies for the automotive industry in South Australia.

I had a bill before parliament when I was in the federal parliament that would have actually reallocated the subsidies that were on the table at a federal level to support innovation and encourage electric vehicles in South Australia so that the automotive industry could have really started to manufacture EVs in SA. We could have led the world in electric vehicle manufacturing. Sadly, I could not get either of the two major political parties to support that bill, but the Greens here in this place, and indeed in Canberra, continue to advocate for electric vehicle manufacturing in states like South Australia and Victoria where we have the skills and experience and we could put those to use.

I also want to reflect on some of the positive innovations of the new government with respect to electric vehicles. I commend the announcement by the Malinauskas government that the Department for Transport are working on a business case for transitioning Adelaide's bus and train network to zero-emission vehicles. That is a really welcome innovation. Electric public transport is one of the keys to low emissions and we need that going forward.

We need to ensure that people who travel by car can also afford to buy electric vehicles without having to pay additional levies or taxes. Just last week, we saw a move by the federal government to make it cheaper to buy EVs. The Greens supported that bill in Canberra, with amendments to phase out plug-in hybrid vehicles and prioritise electric vehicles for the federal government fleet. These are really welcome developments in the move to an electrified transport system.

Electric vehicles are becoming more affordable, they are better for our planet, and they are the way of the future. We support axing the Liberals' EV tax, and we call on the government to go further in its next budget to provide real incentives so that we can speed up our state's transition to EVs. Let's be a real leader in that space. I think with the right political vision we can make that happen.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (15:45): I rise to speak on this bill. This, of course, is just another election promise that the Malinauskas government and the Treasurer intend to be delivered. We supported the levy, along with the Marshall government. It fell in line with what the other states have already done, and that was to have a revenue mechanism in place to eventually replace the loss of revenue that will come from significant reductions in the fuel excise levies. This is revenue that would go towards improving our road infrastructure, road safety programs and the like, and also the installation of EV charging points—because somebody has to pay for them, not have them for free.

When we agreed with the Marshall government, we did manage to get an increase in the number of vehicles that would receive the $3,000 subsidy off the cost of EVs. Unfortunately, it was around this time of the year and the former Treasurer was in a Scrooge-ish mood and we did not quite get the high numbers that we wanted. Nonetheless, a significant number—I think it was around 6,000 vehicles—along with registration CTP waivers, were part of the package.

I note that since it came in, the number of EVs that have been sold have not been much to write home about. I think only around 200 or 300 vehicles have been bought. Many of these are the Tesla brand, and a significant number of those did not attract the subsidy because they were in line with the luxury car tax that is still in place. That subsidy that I was talking about will run until there is at least a 30 per cent penetration of EVs on our roads or until 2027, whatever comes first. However, seeing the level of EVs that are being sold at the moment and the lack of incentives, I am not confident that we are going to see all that many, the way things are going.

I have not seen much in the way of an EV strategy coming from the Malinauskas government or, for that matter, from the federal government—merely throwing some crumbs at the Greens to keep them happy. Incentives are needed to get more of these vehicles on our roads and they need to be meaningful incentives, much as we have seen, and I have seen, in countries in Europe and particularly in Scandinavian countries like Norway.

I was recently in Europe and, sadly, the take-up of EVs has not been as popular as one would have expected. At the same time, I do not see any of those governments really promoting it as much, particularly when you consider the cost of fuel at the moment where it is. Strangely enough, while we are complaining about the cost of fuel in Australia, which can vary between $1.70 and $2.18, while I was travelling around Europe the cost of fuel was around €2.20, which equates to something like nearly $3 a litre here. Fuel is extremely expensive in Europe but, strangely enough, I did not see the push towards electric vehicles; I did not see many of them on the roads in the countries I travelled through.

Quite simply, we do need more incentives to get these vehicles on our roads. I know the Hon. Robert Simms has been quite critical of what we did, and I have heard some trash talk today, but we are not against electric vehicles. What we want are more incentives for people to be able to take them up and get the numbers up on our roads.

At the same time, of course, you have to make it fair. You cannot expect the fuel excise levy to be in place and raising revenue for various infrastructure and other needs, yet people who are driving EVs are not paying anything for using the same infrastructure, the same roads, that people with petrol-driven vehicles are using.

I can see what will end up happening here with the repeal of this bill, and it looks quite obvious to me that the government will have the numbers. However, the bill will still be there, I imagine, and eventually the government will have to fall in line with what the other states are doing. I cannot see South Australia being the lone state that does not have any charges. Eventually, they will have to get the money from somewhere, and that is something the Treasurer will have to explain.

How else will they generate road user revenue? How else will they generate revenue that will go towards our crumbling road infrastructure in this state? That is, of course, unless they consider having road tolls. I know that is not in their policy at the moment, but the money will have to come from somewhere eventually.

I think the luxury car tax needs to be scrapped, and I concur with the Hon. Robert Simms regarding stamp duty and other measures. I think the Treasurer does need to provide more incentives rather just saying, 'Well, we were opposed to this bill last time, so we're going to get rid of it,' but there is nothing there to encourage people to take it up.

The motor trade industry itself also needs to have some confidence of where we are going in this state in relation to EVs or hydrogen-powered vehicles, hybrids or whatever, so they know where to invest the millions of dollars that will be required for the upkeep, the maintenance, of these vehicles and other infrastructure that will be required. The way it stands right now, and the way it will stand, is that they are basically going to be in limbo, not knowing what to do or what to spend money on, because of inconsistent policies at both state and federal levels.

To address the Hon. Robert Simms and the trash talk he was hurling our way on our position, that we supported these measures last time that were being implemented—

The Hon. R.A. Simms: That was me being nice.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: You were being nice—

The Hon. R.A. Simms interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Interjections are out of order.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: You want me to sing? I will sing a song.

The PRESIDENT: That is most certainly out of order: no glass tapping.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: I may sing a Johnny Cash song, Mr President.


The Hon. F. PANGALLO: To go back, we are not opposed to EVs at all, or these vehicles. We just have to be pragmatic and realistic: the government is going to need some revenue, they are going to have to get revenue from somewhere.

The Hon. R.A. Simms interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Simms!

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: The other issue we have in this country, unlike other countries that are promoting the sales of these vehicles, is we do not have enough models on sale. If we are lucky, there may be 10 or 12 models of fully EV vehicles and then there are the hybrids and others that have been made available, but we are not getting them here. Part of the reason for that is that the federal government also needs to have a look at addressing the issue of fuel emissions standards on vehicles.

What is happening at the moment, because we are not doing what the Europeans have done, is we are also becoming a dumping ground for petrol-driven models that they cannot sell in other countries overseas. Consumers still have five years to make a choice—that is, if this bill comes into place. What we would like to see are further incentives put in place to encourage them to take them up. I think the federal government needs to play an active role here. They need to be the leaders. As I mentioned, part of that will need to be those fuel emissions standards, which need to be addressed pretty urgently.

The one consolation, when this bill goes through this place and is likely to succeed, is at least the existing rebates and incentives will remain in place for the duration of that period that was agreed to previously. With that, I will await the time that the bill comes before the Legislative Council for further debate.

The Hon. S.L. GAME (15:56): I rise to speak on this bill. This bill seeks to reverse the Motor Vehicles (Electric Vehicle Levy) Amendment Act that was passed by the previous parliament just over 12 months ago in this place with the support of the crossbench. That act sought to broadly align ourselves with New South Wales and Victoria, two jurisdictions that have recognised that electric vehicle owners ought to contribute to maintaining our road network as all non-electric vehicle road users must.

Since then, Labor's Western Australian government have also announced a road user charge in an apparent about face from their original 2020 electric vehicle strategy. I note that the ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania have made noises about reconsidering their position in favour of also introducing one in the future.

On multiple occasions and in different areas of policy, this Premier and his government have trumpeted the benefits of national consistency. On this occasion, however, South Australia is going against the grain and has withdrawn from what appeared to be a consensus position for first movers. I understand that the previous Liberal government received support from key industry bodies such as the RAA, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia for the introduction of a road user charge here.

I am also aware that the Motor Trade Association agrees with the principle that all road users ought to contribute their fair share to the maintenance and upgrade of our road network. While the MTA would prefer that the federal government regulate in this space, given that there has been a lack of action from the federal major parties so far, it is prudent that we as a state take action where there is a vacuum of leadership.

This Labor government is apparently satisfied with the notion that all South Australian taxpayers ought to subsidise the minority who are on high incomes and can already afford luxury electric vehicles, without expecting them to contribute their fair share to maintaining our roads—a road network, as many country members in particular will be aware, is already under strain across our state and in various states of disrepair. Will this mean less funding for road safety going forward? My regional constituents, who are over-represented in crash statistics, will certainly hope not.

This attempt to repeal the Motor Vehicles (Electric Vehicle Levy) Amendment Act 2021 is a classic example of green virtue signalling. It does nothing to either increase the uptake of electric vehicles, nor does it address the issue of a small but growing cohort of electric vehicle and hybrid owners who are being subsidised to drive on our streets by their petrol and diesel-powered neighbours.

The latest figures—and I thank the MTA for their assistance here—show that just 1.7 per cent of all new vehicle sales in this state to the end of October are pure electric vehicles. This is at the same time that diesel vehicle sales have increased by 4.1 per cent to make up almost 35 per cent of total sales. So we can see where South Australians are putting their hard-earned money to work, and it is not going towards battery-powered EVs.

If we cast our eyes over the border to Victoria, battery-powered EVs make up 2.6 per cent of all new vehicle sales. Given that they have had a road user charge in operation for almost 18 months, this is evidence that such a levy clearly does not put a significant dampener on EV uptake.

This repeal bill will undo what was a modest and sensible starting point for taxation of electric vehicles. The tax would have charged EV users a road charge of just 2¢ cents per kilometre for plug-in hybrids and 2½¢ per kilometre for electric vehicles, and it was due to begin in almost five years' time, on 1 July 2027, or when EVs made up 30 per cent of total vehicle sales per annum, whichever came sooner.

The previous government expected that it would bring in $3.5 million in its first year of operation, as a result of an estimated annual charge of just $305 per vehicle. Compare this with petrol-powered vehicle owners, who are slugged with a fuel excise rate of 46¢ per litre. This adds up to $13.9 billion in net fuel excise this financial year into federal government coffers, growing to about $16.7 billion in 2025-26. For a typical household, the Australian Automobile Association estimates annual fuel excise bills to be over $1,100 or, in South Australia, approximately $565 per average vehicle.

So while your average Australian household is responsible for contributing over $1,100 to our road network, those in the market for an electric vehicle are instead being paid $3,000 in direct subsidies, plus given a three-year registration exemption. This does not include the many extra millions of dollars of investment likely to be spent by the state government to further accelerate EV uptake, nor does it include the many billions of dollars this federal government is wasting in the pursuit of green renewables and upgrading our electricity grid in order to withstand the high and intermittent energy demands of charging electric vehicles.

Not only will electric vehicle owners not be required to contribute their fair share to building and maintaining our road network but it is left to the South Australian taxpayer to foot the bill for electric vehicle charging infrastructure too. How is this fair? When is an appropriate time to start charging EV owners for driving on roads funded by everyday petrol and diesel-owning South Australians? Is it 2030? Is it 2040? The can is getting kicked further and further down the road.

We only have to look to the United States to see what happens as a result of EV subsidies. In just one year, to June 2022, EV prices rose on average by 13.7 per cent to $US66,000, or almost $98,000 at the current exchange rate. President Biden's $US7,000 EV subsidy, ironically packaged up as part of his recent Inflation Reduction Act, was eviscerated in no time whatsoever. In Germany, their finance minister is quoted as saying:

We simply cannot afford misguided subsidies anymore. These cars have so far been subsidised over their lifetime with up to 20,000 Euros, even for top earners. That's too much. We can save billions there, which we can use more sensibly.

The fervent pursuit of EVs inconveniently coincides with state and federal Labor governments doing all in their power to shut down our base load coal and gas power stations that are vital to the mining of the rare earth minerals needed in the production of these vehicles. Without coal, how will we smelt steel and aluminium, process plastics from coal and oil, and produce glass? Presumably, this will all be done in China and overseas markets, where environmental and labour standards are either low or non-existent—out of sight, out of mind.

According to the International Energy Agency, EVs require about six times more minerals to build, compared with conventional cars. Mineral demand for use in EVs and battery storage will grow at least 30 times to 2040, with lithium the major driver at 40 times, followed by graphite, cobalt and nickel. Copper demand, in order to upgrade and expand the electricity network to handle these extra imports, will more than double globally over this period.

It is folly to think that the supply of these minerals is able to keep up with the pace of politicians' fervent demand for decarbonisation. Price volatility will only increase and further push up the cost of clean energy transition. While sticker prices of batteries have come down significantly, thanks to better technology and economies of scale, raw material costs have actually grown to now account for up to 70 per cent of total battery costs, up from 40 per cent five years ago. Given the meteoric rise in lithium prices, thanks to a combination of high demand and supply issues, both of which will only intensify, it is difficult to see how the economics will stack up.

The International Energy Agency estimates that a doubling of lithium prices would induce a 6 per cent increase in battery costs. If nickel prices were to do the same, then all of the unit cost reductions anticipated from a doubling of battery production would be eviscerated, and this scenario will only be realised if we are able to source the minerals in the first place. Utilising the expected supply of lithium from existing mines and projects under construction, the IEA again estimates that it will be lucky to meet half of global demand for lithium by 2030.

Summing-up, I seriously question the government's motives behind this bill. It is unfair and unjust to repeal a proposed electric vehicle road user charge that was only due to take effect in another five years' time for the benefit of a tiny minority who are already able to afford expensive EVs. I do not believe that this bill will result in any significant increase in the uptake of EVs and I do not agree with the principle that electric vehicle owners deserve a free ride.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. H.M. Girolamo.