SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — A new report has claimed electric vehicles should face road taxes like gasoline cars over fine dust emissions.
The report released by the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI) on Tuesday says road taxes on electric car drivers need to be considered as a way to fund road infrastructure more equitably.
Currently, owners of electric cars are exempt from the road infrastructure tax which is imposed on diesel car drivers in the form of traffic, environmental and energy taxes, which stands between 182 and 207.4 won per 1 liter of gasoline in cash terms.
In the report, however, researchers at the KEEI argue that there are issues of fairness that need to be dealt with in how electric cars are taxed, given their use of road infrastructure.
The report then goes one step further by linking the disparity between electric cars and regular cars to a loss of tax revenue, and argues for a road tax of 53.1 to 60.5 won for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed.
Though the government categorizes electric cars as ‘zero emission cars’ and has taken active approaches to encourage their use, the report suggests the possibility that the environment-friendliness of electric cars is being overestimated.
When driving 1 kilometer, for instance, electric cars emit roughly half the amount of the Co2 equivalents from gasoline cars, while emitting 92.7 percent of the PM10 fine dust particles, according to the KEEI report.
When it comes to fine dust, the report argued electric cars are responsible for substantial emissions, particularly during the charging process, along with scattering dust caused by the abrasion of tires and brake pads.
“The position of electric cars as low emission vehicles needs to be reassessed through additional studies into their environment-friendliness, and the redesigning of the government’s current push for electric cars should also be considered,” the institute said.
Local governments across South Korea are actively promoting the use of electric cars with the help of the central government, primarily due to their environmental advantages, with the Jeju government reporting to have sold all 4,873 electric cars subsidized by the Ministry of Environment back in November.