On September 16, 2021, two electric vehicle drivers, Mr. Christopher Vanderstock and Ms. Kathleen Davis, brought a claim in the High Court of Australia against the State of Victoria to challenge the Zero and Low Emission Vehicle Distance-based Charge Act 2021 (Vic) (ZLEV Act). The ZLEV Act, adopted in July 2021, introduces a new tax that charges electric vehicle drivers between 2 and 2.5 cents for every kilometer they drive. In addition, drivers of electric vehicles are required to submit annual odometer readings to state authorities from which an annual charge is calculated. The plaintiffs argue that the State of Victoria lacks the constitutional authority to impose such a charge based on Section 90 of the Commonwealth Constitution, which, they claim, reserves the exclusive power to levy such charges for the Commonwealth.
While the plaintiffs do not question the act based on a material issue of law that involve climate change, this case is on the leading edge of an issue and is therefore included on an exceptional basis in the database.
On October 19, 2021, the court set out the timetable for the proceedings. On March 3, 2022, the court made further orders amending the original timetable.