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LCQ18: Electric vehicles
     Following is a question by the Hon Hui Chi-fung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (May 31):


     The Government has implemented since 1994 the measure of fully exempting electric vehicles from the payment of first registration tax (FRT).  However, from the current financial year onwards, the FRT concession for electric private cars is capped at $97,500.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the respective numbers of newly-registered electric private cars and electric motor cycles in each of the past five financial years, broken down by model;

(2) of the number of newly-registered electric private cars in each of the past five financial years, broken down by retail price ranges as set out in the table below; and 
Retail price (HK$) Financial year
2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017
100,000 or below          
100,001 to 300,000          
300,001 to 500,000          
500,001 to 700,000          
700,001 to 900,000          
900,001 to 1,100,000          
1,100,001 to 1,300,000          
1,300,001 to 1,500,000          
1,500,001 or above          
(3) whether it will consider resuming the granting of full FRT exemption for electric private cars; if not, of the reasons for that?



(1) The number of first registered electric private cars and electric motorcycles in each of the past five financial years are set out by models in Annex 1 and Annex 2 respectively.

(2) The number of first registered electric private cars in each of the past five financial years is set out by taxable values in Annex 3.

(3) The Government has been proactively promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs) as replacements of their conventional counterparts, with measures including waiving the first registration tax (FRT) for EVs, collaborating with the commercial sector to set up public EV charging facilities and setting up the Pilot Green Transport Fund to encourage the trial of green and innovative transport technologies which includes electric commercial vehicles. With the technological advancement of electric private cars, the number of first registered electric private cars in Hong Kong has recorded discernable growth in recent years. Electric private car manufacturers have also been making efforts to produce mass-market electric private car models whose price difference with conventional private cars is narrowing. 

     In view of the above latest developments and also the longstanding public transport-oriented policy with railway as the backbone, the Government has decided to cap the FRT concession for electric private cars at $97,500 starting from April 1 this year. This helps avoid further worsening the traffic congestion problem which could offset the efforts to improve roadside air quality.

     Apart from the above mentioned FRT concession, the annual vehicle licence fees for electric private cars are significantly lower than those for conventional private cars and the electricity cost for powering electric private cars is also less when compared with fuel cost for powering conventional ones. We thus consider that electric private cars, especially the more economical models, would still be attractive to environmentally conscious buyers who have genuine need for driving.

     For electric commercial vehicles, their overall technological development has been slower than that of electric private cars so they still can hardly compete with the conventional ones. The Government thus continues to waive their FRT in full.

     The new FRT concessions for EVs will end by the end of March next year.  The Government will review the FRT concession regime for EVs in light of the relevant factors before then, in order to ensure effective implementation of the relevant policies and prudent management of public finances.
Ends/Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:32
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