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New first registration tax concessions for electric vehicles
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     Pursuant to the 2017-18 Budget, the Environment Bureau (ENB) announced today (February 22) details of first registration tax (FRT) concessions for different classes of electric vehicles (EVs) for the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 inclusive as follows:

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.

     However, as a one-off arrangement, electric private cars ordered by buyers from  locally registered distributors or arranged for shipment to Hong Kong by owners before 11am (Hong Kong time) today will still be entitled to have their FRT fully waived even if they are first registered after March 31, 2017.

     A spokesman for the ENB said, "The Financial Secretary has announced in the Budget Speech today that, in consideration of the overall growth of the private car fleet in recent years and the increasing acceptance of electric private cars by drivers, from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, first registration tax of electric commercial vehicles, electric motor cycles and electric motor tricycles will continue to be fully waived. However, the waiving of first registration tax for electric private cars will be capped at $97,500."

     The spokesman added that the new FRT regime has taken account of the environmental merits of the wider use of electric vehicles as replacements for conventional vehicles, the increasing acceptance of electric private cars by drivers, and the substantial growth of the private car fleet in the last few years, leading to worsening traffic congestion. The new FRT concessions for electric private cars can achieve a reasonable balance between promoting the use of electric private cars and stemming the excessive growth of the private car fleet.

     "Commercial vehicles are the major source of roadside air pollution. Replacing conventional commercial vehicles with electric ones will produce the greatest air quality benefits. This is the reason that the Government has made the introduction of electric commercial vehicles a priority. Extending the current full FRT waiver of electric commercial vehicles for another year will help promote a wider use of them. Similarly, the full FRT waiver for electric motor cycles and electric motor tricycles will also be extended," the spokesman said.

     To minimise the inadvertent impact of the FRT concession cap on the electric private cars ordered by buyers from locally registered distributors or arranged for shipment to Hong Kong by owners before 11am today, they will have their FRT fully waived even if they are first registered after March 31, 2017. Their owners or the electric private car distributors concerned do not need to make any application to the Transport Department (TD) for the full FRT waiver before the first registration of the electric private cars. When submitting the first registration application, they will be requested to submit an application for full FRT waiver together with documentary proof at the same time for the TD's verification of the eligibility of the electric private cars for the full FRT waiver. The relevant details will be announced as soon as practicable. For enquiries, members of the public can call the 1823 Call Centre or TD's Hong Kong Licensing Office on 2804 2634.

     In addition to FRT concessions for EVs, the Government will continue to promote the use of EVs by various measures including the Pilot Green Transport Fund, granting gross floor area concessions for car parks in new buildings with EV charging-enabling facilities, planning guidelines for new buildings to recommend 30 per cent of private car parking spaces to be installed with EV chargers, expanding and upgrading the public EV charging network and a hotline to provide relevant information and technical support in setting up chargers.
 
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:50
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