Instead of taxing electric vehicles, heavy vehicles should pay more for the damage they cause

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 22 Apr 2021 10:17
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Finally a well structured piece covering the need to reduce emissions by taxing heavily vehicles.  The Transport sector is a MAJOR polluter in this country with only a very small amount of freight on rail.

A major shift to rail is required and tax policy is one perfect way to do this.  Make it more expensive and freight forwarders will make better decisions not only financially but environmentally.

Coles for example is one company who needs specific attention.  Building large warehousing off rail and running thousands of interstate trucks per week when rail could be used.

Instead of taxing electric vehicles, heavy vehicles should pay more for the damage they cause

Sponsored advertisement

  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
While I have considerable support for the idea that heavy road vehicles should do more of the financial heavy lifting, I also read everything that appears in the Guardian through the prism of its inner-city,green-leaning politics.

Consequently, I read this article as ‘tax (someone else’s) trucks, not (my) Tesla.

The primary purpose of tax is to fund government programs, not to influence behaviour. Hence, taxation typically aims at items for which demand is not influenced strongly by the tax burden. GST taxes consumption (relatively constant); taxes on tobacco and alcohol are also favoured because these substances are addictive, despite the “quit” campaigns that are also run.

When “import parity pricing” was introduced (the fuel excise), even though Australia was more than self sufficient at the time, the government promised that money would be spent on roads. It wasn’t, partly because it turned out to be a really juicy honeypot.

The reason why electric cars have come under the microscope is that, if the proponents of electric cars get their way, an increased proportion of electric cars will reduce the fuel excise paid by (petrol and diesel) drivers, to the detriment of government revenues.

Why not introduce weight and distance taxation? Because then my Tesla would also pay. Which is also why it is also popular to recharge Teslas in the car park of apartment complexes, using the power outlet intended for the cleaners - because somebody else pays (the body corporate).
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
Are you proposing that Coles runs a rail siding into every supermarket in Melbourne?

Trucks have their place, in moving time sensitive and perishable freight... you know, like food.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Tax both EVs and trucks.  Both cause congestion and both need to pay their way.

Many wealthy inner-city greenies want their luxury personal transport subsidized.  Selfish.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Are you proposing that Coles runs a rail siding into every supermarket in Melbourne?

Trucks have their place, in moving time sensitive and perishable freight... you know, like food.
Stafford

You don't quite get it.

The conversation was about warehousing, not specific supermarkets.

Yes trucks do have their place and their more appropriate and environmentally friendly place on the roads would be after freight has arrived at warehouse distribution or port in each state either for sending or receiving said freight with rail used for cartage in-between.

Greenfield distribution centres constructed and in operation miles from rail is not conducive to an environmentally friendly outcome.

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
EV distance based charging has started in Vic and needs to be rolled out nation wide. Yes it should also be leveraged by weight, I'm sure this will come in due course.

I did the calcs a short while ago and a Model 3 will pay around $550 - 600 pa in distance based and GST taxes versus $780 for a Camry. So while not parity its getting closer.

Considering the cost of EV's currently, any support for EV's to be free of road taxes must be coming from wealthy Greenies, i.e. hypocrites and needs to be ignored. One option they do have to reduce their road taxes is simply use home solar PV to charge their car. If its a commuter car then yes this is limited to weekends.

The days of free charging a numbered.

Coles built their warehouse away from rail because everyone does unless moving bulk or serious tonnages worthy of a train every day or so. The days of having a rail siding are over, you simply truck to the local rail transfer hub.
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
With all due respect, you're not getting it.

Supermarket giants like Coles and Woolies are using trucks because they're much quicker point-to-point as opposed to rail, quicker delivery means fresher product, and in todays day and age nothing less is accepted.

A truck can pick up a load of carrots, bananas, whatever, from the farm, and deliver it directly to a DC, where it is repacked for delivery to the supermarket.

For the same load to go by rail it must be trucked from the farm, to the railhead, then wait to be bulk loaded into wagons, then make the rail trip to another depot closer to the DC, then be taken from the depot to the DC, then from the DC to the supermarket.

Our rail system is woefully underequipped to deal with time sensitive freight, hence why it is moved by road.

Don't misunderstand, I'm a truckie, but I have no beef with the rail industry. Rail is great when moving bulk, non time-sensitive loads such as iron ore, coal, fuel, grain, and bulk intermodal shipping.

Could more stuff be moved by rail? Yes, absolutely, such as the constant wrangling about grain lines and their feasibility, but attacking the road transport industry when said industry makes the lifestyle that we enjoy possible is ignorant to say the least.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

One option they do have to reduce their road taxes is simply use home solar PV to charge their car.
RTT_Rules
Except now there's talk of electricity providers charging PV owners for export of electricity. Get charged if you use, get charged if you produce. That'll go well for the installation industry.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
The other issue is that, if they want to tax vehicles for cost of road maintenance, then the money needs to be used for road maintenance. Unlike the original excise, which was promised for this purpose.

Unfortunately, politicians have a bad habit of putting specific-purpose levies/taxes into consolidated revenue, then squandering it on other “pet” projects.

Witness the Compulsory Contributions Levy, introduced in 1946 to fund the aged pension, absorbed into consolidated revenue in 1950 (because the fund was too big for then-current needs), as an addition to income tax. 35 years later, pension affordability became an issue, because 35 years of retirement savings had been spent on other stuff. Hence the current superannuation system.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I see Coles if bad news and not up with the times but Linfox and Woolworths are making good progress towards integrated logistics.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Coles built their warehouse away from rail because everyone does unless moving bulk or serious tonnages worthy of a train every day or so. The days of having a rail siding are over, you simply truck to the local rail transfer hub.
RTT_Rules

Except they don't...hence the problem without actually legislating the use of rail for long distance bulk movements such as from mega sized warehouses.

This is the primary reason freight between Melbourne and Sydney is negligible, bordering on almost nothing these days. In no way whatsoever could the movement of many hundreds of semi's up and down the Hume each night be seen as environmentally friendly.

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
With all due respect, you're not getting it.

Supermarket giants like Coles and Woolies are using trucks because they're much quicker point-to-point as opposed to rail, quicker delivery means fresher product, and in todays day and age nothing less is accepted.

A truck can pick up a load of carrots, bananas, whatever, from the farm, and deliver it directly to a DC, where it is repacked for delivery to the supermarket.

For the same load to go by rail it must be trucked from the farm, to the railhead, then wait to be bulk loaded into wagons, then make the rail trip to another depot closer to the DC, then be taken from the depot to the DC, then from the DC to the supermarket.

Our rail system is woefully underequipped to deal with time sensitive freight, hence why it is moved by road.

Don't misunderstand, I'm a truckie, but I have no beef with the rail industry. Rail is great when moving bulk, non time-sensitive loads such as iron ore, coal, fuel, grain, and bulk intermodal shipping.

Could more stuff be moved by rail? Yes, absolutely, such as the constant wrangling about grain lines and their feasibility, but attacking the road transport industry when said industry makes the lifestyle that we enjoy possible is ignorant to say the least.
Stafford

It's funny how rail was up for the task in the past.

What happened...does fruit and veg 'go off' faster these days, moreover, why bother building inland rail. It's not like there will be train loads of iron ore, coal or grain being sent between Brisbane and Melbourne.

The Newell Highway was a dreadful drive with all the north and southbound trucks when I last fully travelled along it 23 years, *edited, no actually 33 years ago for EXPO 88. These days that drive must be even worse and that road, resembling a truck sewer.

Mike.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
@vinelander, the Newell is a bit like those chains of caterpillars that go nose to tail. Only trucks and caravans.

The good news is that, while the powers that be dither about routing inland rail and deal with NIMBY objections, the road authorities have installed lots of overtaking lanes and bypasses of several towns.

Making inland rail even less competitive even before it is built.
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
The good news is that, while the powers that be dither about routing inland rail and deal with NIMBY objections, the road authorities have installed lots of overtaking lanes and bypasses of several towns.

Making inland rail even less competitive even before it is built.
SinickleBird

Basically this. Road infrastructure has improved out of sight in the decades since rail carried any meaningful amount of priority interstate freight. Add to this trucks being larger and faster thanks to the improved roads, and it's little wonder that supermarket giants will employ their services over the rail lines.

Again, let me stress: I am not against rail, but at the current time there isn't a competitive alternative to road transport for priority and perishable freight. I hope they do build the inland rail link although it may require subsidisation for a time until businesses get used to using it.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'm surprised nobody picked up on my lost 10 years...but I digress. Smile

It's clear that, from what's being written here that the Inland Rail is apparently a waste of money and resources.

However by the research I've read recently, the trucking industry is in for catastrophic change in the next 10 years because it will become driverless and hydrogen or battery powered to minimise crashes and emissions.

BTW, I've driven to Qld several times since 1988, always taking the longer but more civilised Kidman Way via Cunnamulla and Toowoomba.

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
One option they do have to reduce their road taxes is simply use home solar PV to charge their car.
Except now there's talk of electricity providers charging PV owners for export of electricity. Get charged if you use, get charged if you produce. That'll go well for the installation industry.
Madjikthise
Has no impact on the cost of running an EV and completely separate issue, ironically something charging more EV's during the day would help resolve.

The issue with over supply of PV power was known 10 years ago, not believed by many of the anti PV brigade that it would ever be an issue. PV owners should have been aware this would eventually happen and now its going to happen (there is no talk, it will happen), then home owners need to the next step. Or simply not export power during gluts of power.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm surprised nobody picked up on my lost 10 years...but I digress. Smile

It's clear that, from what's being written here that the Inland Rail is apparently a waste of money and resources.

However by the research I've read recently, the trucking industry is in for catastrophic change in the next 10 years because it will become driverless and hydrogen or battery powered to minimise crashes and emissions.

BTW, I've driven to Qld several times since 1988, always taking the longer but more civilised Kidman Way via Cunnamulla and Toowoomba.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Answer to your previous question, what has changed?
- Logistics industry moving to just in time as inventory on route is a cost.
- More flexible trucking industry
- Move to Panamax or what ever its called trucks which makes point to point delivery more viable.
- Increase in truck carrying capacity due to better suspension
- Increase in total freight per truck movement due to B-double, longer semi's etc (increase in driver and prime mover productivity)
- Rail industry despite all the upgrades still hams strung by numerous restrictions including less flexible labour force
- The North line to Brisbane is still a goat track that has small windows through north Sydney.
- Change in the type of freight being moved including loss of some major industry that used to be a major user of rail
- Lower cost of fuel per t/km.
- Lack of innovation in rail vs truck

Is the Inland a waste of money, no. It solves many of the issues above, but its certainly won't be a free lunch. Yes H2 is one way to solve the emissions argument, but ultimately most of the focus will be on autonomous trucks which is why if trains still have two drivers up front by 2025 on the Inland, then yes potentially it could be a waste of money. Realistically all interstate rail should be driverless by 2030 if not before, but how many people in the rail industry accept this is a reality or indeed requirement for the industry to survive?

Agree with your 2ndry roads, we did the same.
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
However by the research I've read recently, the trucking industry is in for catastrophic change in the next 10 years because it will become driverless and hydrogen or battery powered to minimise crashes and emissions.
The Vinelander

Hybrid trucks are already in use with some companies, Star Track Express and I think Toll use some of them for their local parcel deliveries, granted these are only light and medium rigids. Hydrogen I'm not sure about, CNG has been tried before but is pretty hopeless from what I recall, battery power for local trucks around cities would be very doable and may well become commonplace if Elon has his way.

For long haul applications battery storage isn't currently advanced enough to carry enough charge for a trip from Melbourne to Sydney, let alone the longer routes, unless they invent a truck that uses a 'battery pack' or similar thing that can be interchanged in a similar time it would take to fuel a regular diesel vehicle.

Driverless vehicles still have their issues at this point in time as we've seen in the news recently, I imagine they might be viable around town again if all the bugs are ironed out, but out in my neck of the woods our infrastructure is so non-existant that I can't imagine them taking hold out here for a very long time.
Hell, our roads are still spray seal and half the the time they can't even get that right, one hot day and the bitumen is bleeding through the aggregate!

Our roads are also very rough for the same reasons, and bumps and vibration does bad things to electronics, here's a case in point:



I drove this truck for the better part of a year, nice vehicle, very powerful and comfortable, chock full of electronics, adaptive cruise control, collision detection, lane keeping, all the bells and whistles. The problem was that all that shaking and rattling started to mess up the electronics after a while, the collision detection would go off for no apparent reason automatically slamming the brakes on (not ideal on a 160t vehicle), in rain the computer kept thinking the vehicle had wheelslip issues automatically reducing power in order to 'regain traction', this and a myriad of other issues with it eventually got the entire fleet of Mercedes replaced with Kenworths.
Out here the trucks have to be simple, rugged, and reliable in order to survive - so I doubt we'll see driverless trucks in this neck of the woods anytime soon.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The other issue is that, if they want to tax vehicles for cost of road maintenance, then the money needs to be used for road maintenance. Unlike the original excise, which was promised for this purpose.

Unfortunately, politicians have a bad habit of putting specific-purpose levies/taxes into consolidated revenue, then squandering it on other “pet” projects.

Witness the Compulsory Contributions Levy, introduced in 1946 to fund the aged pension, absorbed into consolidated revenue in 1950 (because the fund was too big for then-current needs), as an addition to income tax. 35 years later, pension affordability became an issue, because 35 years of retirement savings had been spent on other stuff. Hence the current superannuation system.
SinickleBird
I think the road tax and road spending is now close if slightly behind par.

The issue with road and pension is why I totally support the transition to direct linked taxation. ie
- Road funding is 100% raised and linked to vehicle road based taxes and charges, ie fees, part alcohol taxes, registration, distance based, fuel taxes and weight etc. Want better roads, pay more taxes.

- Health system is 100% funded from private health insurance, tobacco and similar taxes, co-contribution, compulsory fee every time you see a Dr and Medicare.
Want better health system, increase Medicare etc

etc.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A most interesting, informative and intelligent discussion.

Now after four years of inertia President Biden's overnight announcement, we will be up for more evolutionary changes in transport and energy generation and storage.

https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/biden-to-open-global-summit-with-ambitious-new-us-climate-pledge-20210422-p57lns.html

Mike.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

One option they do have to reduce their road taxes is simply use home solar PV to charge their car.
Except now there's talk of electricity providers charging PV owners for export of electricity. Get charged if you use, get charged if you produce. That'll go well for the installation industry.
Has no impact on the cost of running an EV and completely separate issue, ironically something charging more EV's during the day would help resolve.

The issue with over supply of PV power was known 10 years ago, not believed by many of the anti PV brigade that it would ever be an issue. PV owners should have been aware this would eventually happen and now its going to happen (there is no talk, it will happen), then home owners need to the next step. Or simply not export power during gluts of power.
RTT_Rules
It will affect it if people don't see a reason to install solar, just like they don't see a reason to buy an EV at 10's of thousands of dollars premium for an equivalent ICE car if they end up paying the same running costs.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
However by the research I've read recently, the trucking industry is in for catastrophic change in the next 10 years because it will become driverless and hydrogen or battery powered to minimise crashes and emissions.

Hybrid trucks are already in use with some companies, Star Track Express and I think Toll use some of them for their local parcel deliveries, granted these are only light and medium rigids. Hydrogen I'm not sure about, CNG has been tried before but is pretty hopeless from what I recall, battery power for local trucks around cities would be very doable and may well become commonplace if Elon has his way.

For long haul applications battery storage isn't currently advanced enough to carry enough charge for a trip from Melbourne to Sydney, let alone the longer routes, unless they invent a truck that uses a 'battery pack' or similar thing that can be interchanged in a similar time it would take to fuel a regular diesel vehicle.

Driverless vehicles still have their issues at this point in time as we've seen in the news recently, I imagine they might be viable around town again if all the bugs are ironed out, but out in my neck of the woods our infrastructure is so non-existant that I can't imagine them taking hold out here for a very long time.
Hell, our roads are still spray seal and half the the time they can't even get that right, one hot day and the bitumen is bleeding through the aggregate!

Our roads are also very rough for the same reasons, and bumps and vibration does bad things to electronics, here's a case in point:



I drove this truck for the better part of a year, nice vehicle, very powerful and comfortable, chock full of electronics, adaptive cruise control, collision detection, lane keeping, all the bells and whistles. The problem was that all that shaking and rattling started to mess up the electronics after a while, the collision detection would go off for no apparent reason automatically slamming the brakes on (not ideal on a 160t vehicle), in rain the computer kept thinking the vehicle had wheelslip issues automatically reducing power in order to 'regain traction', this and a myriad of other issues with it eventually got the entire fleet of Mercedes replaced with Kenworths.
Out here the trucks have to be simple, rugged, and reliable in order to survive - so I doubt we'll see driverless trucks in this neck of the woods anytime soon.
Stafford
Thanks Stafford.
An amazing piece of equipment and an informative post.
At the end of the day there seem two worlds - Europe and the USA. This division applies equally between road and rail where, thankfully in rail here in Oz, we basically follow AAR Standards. I know nothing about road heavy haul but if European costs and complexities for trucks are as diabolical as those for our son's Krautwagon (VW) Polo I can well understand the Mercs being replaced with Kenworths.
Welcome to Railpage by the way.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner




Stafford
What's happening under trailer 3? I can't make sense of the layout under what looks like a short tanker! (Sorry totally off topic.)
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
It's a B-double set.

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
One option they do have to reduce their road taxes is simply use home solar PV to charge their car.
Except now there's talk of electricity providers charging PV owners for export of electricity. Get charged if you use, get charged if you produce. That'll go well for the installation industry.
Has no impact on the cost of running an EV and completely separate issue, ironically something charging more EV's during the day would help resolve.

The issue with over supply of PV power was known 10 years ago, not believed by many of the anti PV brigade that it would ever be an issue. PV owners should have been aware this would eventually happen and now its going to happen (there is no talk, it will happen), then home owners need to the next step. Or simply not export power during gluts of power.
It will affect it if people don't see a reason to install solar, just like they don't see a reason to buy an EV at 10's of thousands of dollars premium for an equivalent ICE car if they end up paying the same running costs.
Madjikthise
The benefits of installing solar was never about the Feed in tariff, if you want to be a power station go buy or build a proper one. The benefits PV solar is about reducing your demand on the grid and even if you are a dual working family you can still have your house set up to make the most of solar availability when your not there.  Feed in tariffs have been in constant decline since they were first implemented, the obvious was always there to be seen.

PV solar capital up front cost is in constant decline.

You buy 4x4 because you want a 4x4.
You buy a diesel because you want a diesel
You buy an EV because you want an EV.

Changing to EV was also never about having a cheaper car to run although fairly soon this will be the case and in the US, Model 3 has now cross the 5 year lifecycle operating cost of a Camry, i.e. the Model 3 is cheaper.

New car ICE vehicle availability will also start to decline from 2015 so basically you won't have a choice even if the govt doesn't ban the, and I'd expect excises to be added to ICE vehicles beyond 2028 in most if not all categories. We will also see ICE cars increasingly banned from use and at some point the govt and private sector will stop building tunnels and underground carparks designed for cars with an ICE. The ventilation and other safety systems to manage engine exhaust add significant cost to the projects.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: RTT_Rules

Display from: