Hong Kong Charging Survey 2017

2017-2018 Budget - Electric Vehicles in Hong Kong

FOR RELEASE 23 February 2017

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Government announced, in it’s 2017-2018 budget, changes to the First Registration Tax for Electric Vehicles:

http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201702/22/P2017022200420.htm

The most important part of this change is:

For the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 inclusive:
i) the FRT electric private cars will be waived up to $97,500; and
ii) the FRT of electric commercial vehicles (including goods vehicles, buses, light buses, taxis, and special purpose vehicles), electric motor cycles and electric motor tricycles will be waived in full.

For more than 20 years, our government has been promoting and supporting the adoption and use of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Hong Kong, primarily with a 100% waiver of First Registration Tax. This abandonment of that policy is troubling and will undoubtedly slow down the transition to sustainable transportation, and set back the excellent progress we have seen in recent years.

The pollution from each new petrol/diesel vehicle put on the road today will be felt for the 20 years of that vehicle’s life. Future generations will have to live with the decisions that we take today, and this decision is simply bad for Hong Kong’s air quality and roadside pollution levels.

My thoughts on yesterday's budget

Firstly, let's all stop to take a breath (not too deeply - remember our air is polluted). Sure, this is undoubtedly a setback for Electric Vehicles in Hong Kong, but does anybody really think we will be driving petrol cars in 10 or 20 years time? This government policy change will merely delay the inevitable, not change the end result. It is terrible that in the meantime, more Hong Kong people will have to get sick and die from our air pollution.

I'm not sure if this is political retaliation against John Tsang, or just a short-term cooling-off measure introduced in response to the dramatic growth in the number of EV private cars. Whichever, it is a short term measure for 1 year only. Many are reading that as a negative, but it could equally be a positive.

To be clear, I am 100% against this policy change. The government's stated reasoning is control of private car ownership, but this penalises the 1% of the problem that is EVs, while not affecting the 99% of the problem that is the petrol/diesel vehicles producing the pollution. The purpose of EV incentives is to persuade buyers to purchase clean electric vehicles vs equivalent petrol/diesel polluters, not to cause growth in private car ownership.

Submission for the Public Consultation for the 2017 Policy Address and 2017-18 Budget

To: Policy Address and Budget Consultation Support Team,
Address: 24/F, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2810 3768
Fax: 2147 5770
eMail: policyaddressbudget@fstb.gov.hk

As the situation with the air quality of Hong Kong continues to deteriorate, and Hong Kong continues to lose out to competing countries such as Singapore in surveys and opinion polls on this subject, we urge the Hong Kong government to increase efforts in this respect. According to the Hedley Index, in 2015 there were 2,196 premature deaths, 146k hospital bed days and 3.5m doctor visits caused by air pollution. Total economic loss was HK$27.5 billion. We have the following suggestions for the 2017-2017 budget and 2017 policy address:

Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories #011 --Ms. Lydia Lee & Mr. Andrew Crampton

Lydia and Andrew's EV fleet and their charger
Photo by Andrew and Lydia

Locky Law (LL): It’s been awhile since our last Charged Hong Kong Members’ Story. Luckily, we have just the right Christmas gift for you all! In Hong Kong, most family own one EV, this family owns two, what’s rare about it is they own a Tesla Model S and a VolksWagen e-Golf, both very new! Two EVs which are very different in terms of aesthetics and size. Let’s welcome Andrew and Lydia, who will share their exciting 'Tale of Two EVs" with us today. Thank you for your time Andrew and Lydia.

Andrew Crampton (AC): Thanks Locky.

Lydia Lee (Lydia): Thank you, Locky.

LL: Lydia and Andrew, could you tell us something about yourselves first?

WAVE EARTH 2016 - mission success!

Message from Louis Palmer, wave.earth:

I am very pleased to announce that our dream came true and we have successfully set up the mosaic at the UN World Climate Change Conference, together with the the electric car race of FIA formula E in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 11-11. We have created a powerful message from more than 50'000 students from all over the world, that they are ready to do something and to reduce their CO2 emissions. So the world leaders should also take steps to stop global warming!

Two GUINNESS world records broken

With all your contributions, we have broken two world records:

- The world record for the largest greeting card mosaic was so far around 390 m2, and we measured that our mosaic was exactly 699 m2!
- And we have also broken the world record for the greeting card with the most contrubutions. It stood so far at 13000, and we have received 50581!

It will take around 3 months until Guinness will accept both world records, and then I will let you know.

What will happen next?

Rally 3rd December 2016

On-line sign-up for the Charged Hong Kong Rally on 3rd December 2016 has been launched. Click here for sign-up.

The Charged Hong Kong Rally is an opportunity to meet and socialise with other Electric Vehicle drivers in Hong Kong, and to go for a drive together. This year's rally will take place on Saturday December 3rd 2016. The route will be within the range of most EVs in Hong Kong. We'll be showcasing the viability of Electric Vehicles as an everyday vehicle to the public, and helping to educate the public regarding the problems surrounding Air Quality in Hong Kong and how electric vehicles can help.

The event will start with a breakfast gathering at Hotel ICON, Tsim Sha Tsui. We've booked the Market Restaurant, and arranged a group of tables. Valet parking is provided, as well as valet charging for those in need of a top-up (but given the number of electric cars attending, please limit this to if you really need it). There will be plenty of time for socialising, and the cars will be on display at the entrance to the hotel (allowing for plenty of photo and video opportunities). The schedule is for this event to start at 9am. Around midday, we'll be getting in our cars for the eco-Rally. We've planned some stops along the way. We plan to arrive at the rally end point, Beas River, at around 3pm. There, we can sit down and enjoy tea at the country club.

Hong Kong 2017-2018 Budget

​The Hong Kong Government has launched a public consultation for the 2017 Policy Address and 2017-2017 budget. You can find this online:

English: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/consultation16/eng/index.html
Chinese: http://www.policyaddress.gov.hk/consultation16/chi/index.html

The single biggest issue affecting Electric Vehicles in Hong Kong is that the First Registration Tax exemption, that was last renewed in 2014, is due to expire on 31st March 2017. That must be renewed, for the continued growth and progress of EVs in Hong Kong. While it has been renewed for the past 20 years, there is no guarantee that will continue.

Members of the public are invited to give their views on the website (www.policyaddress.gov.hk), by email (policyaddressbudget@fstb.gov.hk), by phone (2810 3768) or by fax (2147 5770).

We hope that Charged.HK members can get involved in this process, and provide your feedback to the government. Some suggestions include:

International Competition on Second Life for Retired Batteries from Electric Vehicles

The Hong Kong Environmental Bureau is organising an international competition to find opportunities for a second life for retired batteries from Electric Vehicles.

"Electric vehicles (EV) have gained popularity worldwide in recent years. In Hong Kong, the Government’s promotion of EV has led to an almost 60-fold increase in the EV population in less than six years (from less than 100 at the end of 2010 to over 5,800 at the end of July 2016). Since retired EV batteries still have 70% to 80% of electricity storage capacity, their potential for second-life applications is immense. The Competition will help find innovative and practical ideas for re-using retired EV batteries, whose numbers are expected to increase with the increased popularity of EV."

You can find out more at the competition website:

http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/misc/2ndEVbattery/en/index.html

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