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LCQ20: Management of car parking spaces
     Following is a question by the Hon Tony Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (December 9):

     In recent years, some parking spaces for private cars (PCs) in public and private car parks have been retrofitted with charging facilities for electric vehicles (EVs) (EV parking spaces), and some of them have been designated as parking spaces reserved for EVs. Some PC drivers have relayed that there are problems in the management of car parking spaces, including a mismatch between the supply of and demand for car parking spaces. For example, (i) some electric PC (e-PC) drivers wish to charge their vehicles but they cannot find vacant EV parking spaces (the causes for this situation including that such parking spaces are occupied by fuel-engined PCs or by EVs which have finished charging), and (ii) some fuel-engined PC drivers cannot park their vehicles as all general car parking spaces are occupied (the causes for this situation including that drivers of EVs are requested to move their EVs to general car parking spaces upon completion of charging), and the vacant EV parking spaces are reserved for EVs (some of which being located in the most convenient locations). Moreover, the real-time parking space information currently provided by some car parks at their entrances do not indicate the respective numbers of general and EV parking spaces among the vacant car parking spaces available, rendering PC drivers unable to find suitable car parking spaces after entering the car parks. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) among the registered PCs in Hong Kong at present, of the number and percentage of them which are e-PCs;
(2) of the current number of EV parking spaces in Hong Kong and, among them, the number of those which are reserved for EVs, with a breakdown by (i) District Council district and (ii) type of car parks (i.e. public and private);
(3) whether it has drawn up the criteria for determining the numbers and the relative proportion of general car parking spaces, EV parking spaces and parking spaces reserved for EVs in Hong Kong, so as to ensure that land uses are optimised; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it will expeditiously commence this work; and
(4) whether it will issue guidelines to the operators of public and private car parks in respect of (i) better management of EV parking spaces, (ii) reasonable allocation of the locations of general car parking spaces and EV parking spaces, (iii) codes for using parking spaces reserved for EVs, and (iv) information on EV parking spaces to be included in the real-time parking space information?
     On the charging arrangement for electric private cars (e-PCs), it has always been the Government's policy direction that e-PC owners should perform daily charging of their e-PCs at their homes, workplaces or other suitable places. Under this policy direction, the Government's priority is to facilitate and encourage the installation of charging facilities in private buildings when planning for the development of charging facilities for e-PCs. To this end, the Government has, since April 2011, tightened up the previous practice whereby all private car parks could be disregarded from Gross Floor Area (GFA) calculation, by stipulating that only underground private car parks provided with electric vehicle (EV) charging-enabling infrastructure at each car parking space may be granted 100 per cent GFA concessions, with a view to encouraging developers to provide EV charging-enabling infrastructure in private car parks of new buildings. In addition, the EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme (EHSS), which assists car parks of existing private residential buildings to install EV charging‑enabling infrastructure, has been open for application since October 21, 2020. The EHSS helps resolve the technical and financial problems often encountered in installing EV charging-enabling infrastructure in the car parks of the existing private residential buildings, enabling EV owners to install chargers in car parks of their residences according to their own needs in future. It is anticipated that about 60 000 parking spaces will be provided with EV charging‑enabling infrastructure in three years' time under the EHSS. Together with the above-mentioned EV charging-enabled parking spaces in the new buildings granted with GFA concessions, it is anticipated that about one-fourth of all the parking spaces in private residential buildings will be EV charging-enabled upon the completion of the EHSS.
     The public charging network is set up for EV owners to top up the batteries of their EVs at times of occasional needs during their trips. The Government has allocated $120 million to expand the public EV charging network in government car parks from 2019 to 2022. Over 1 000 additional public chargers are expected to be in place by 2022, bringing the total number of public chargers to about 1 800.
     Having consulted the Transport Department (TD), I would like to reply to the Hon Tony Tse's question about the public EV charging network as follows:
(1) According to the information provided by the TD, the number of registered e-PCs as at end of October 2020 was 16 417, accounting for about 2.5 per cent of the total number of registered private cars (excluding government vehicles) in Hong Kong.
(2) Figures on public EV chargers that are open for public use in government and non-government car parks across the 18 districts of Hong Kong as at end of September 2020 are tabulated below.
  Number of public chargers
District Government
car parks
car parks
Central and Western 163 71 234
Eastern 75 113 188
Southern 0 47 47
Wan Chai 83 141 224
Kowloon City 83 31 114
Kwun Tong 41 762 803
Sham Shui Po 66 166 232
Wong Tai Sin 40 44 84
Yau Tsim Mong 46 256 302
Kwai Tsing 9 58 67
Tsuen Wan 102 59 161
Sai Kung 33 70 103
North 70 40 110
Tai Po 25 11 36
Sha Tin 70 112 182
Yuen Long 21 86 107
Tuen Mun 2 40 42
Islands 121 62 183
Total 1 050 2 169 3 219

     The Government launched a six-month trial scheme at four government car parks managed by the TD from August 1, 2020, designating some of the parking spaces equipped with EV chargers for exclusive use by EVs. The car parks under the trial scheme and their respective numbers of reserved parking spaces for EVs are tabulated below.
car park
Number of reserved parking spaces for EVs
Rumsey Street 12
Star Ferry 13
City Hall 10
Tin Hau 13
Total 48
     The TD will review the effectiveness of the trial scheme. As regards non-government car parks, the Government does not have relevant data on their reserved parking spaces for EVs.

(3) At present, the Government has not determined the optimum number of reserved parking spaces for EVs in Hong Kong or their relative proportion to general parking spaces. The Government will examine the arrangements for car parking spaces of various purposes.
(4) New EV chargers in the government car parks will be installed at parking spaces located either at the upper floors or far away from exits and lifts to let EV drivers have more chances to charge their EVs. Moreover, traffic cones and/or appropriate notices will be placed/displayed by the car park operators concerned at those parking spaces with EV chargers wherever practicable, so that such parking spaces can be vacated for use by EVs that need charging.
     Non-government car parks have various modes of operation having regard to commercial considerations which are quite different from the modus operandi of the government car parks. In view of this, the Government has no plan to issue guidelines on the management of parking spaces with EV chargers in non-government car parks.
     As regards the provision of real-time information on parking spaces with EV chargers, the Government is planning to set up a smart system for the public EV charging network. The system will have various functions, such as showing the numbers and locations of parking spaces with EV chargers, giving instant electronic information on the usage status of EV chargers, accepting payments, etc. We understand that certain non-government car parks have been providing real-time information on their parking spaces with EV chargers via mobile applications or dedicated websites.
Ends/Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Issued at HKT 14:20
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