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LCQ15: Impacts of measure of popularisation of electric vehicles
     Following is a question by the Hon Tony Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (August 25):
     The Environment Bureau (ENB) has proposed the following measure in the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles published in March this year: new registration of fuel-propelled private cars (including hybrid vehicles) is to be terminated in 2035 or earlier. ENB anticipates that the demand for auto-fuels will decrease gradually. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective current numbers of petrol filling stations (PFSs) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) filling stations in Hong Kong; among them, the number of those set up on sites granted by the Government for such purposes, and set out, by their location, the lease terms and remaining lease terms of such sites;
(2) whether it has assessed the impacts of the aforesaid measure on operators of PFSs and LPG filling stations; if so, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) whether it has assessed if the aforesaid measure will result in a rise of the retail prices of auto-fuels (pump prices); if it has assessed and the outcome is in the affirmative, whether it will consider introducing measures to stabilise pump prices; and
(4) as ENB has indicated that (i) it will study the feasibility of providing electric vehicle charging stations at PFSs and LPG filling stations, and (ii) it has requested the Lands Department to temporarily postpone the re-tendering of the PFS sites with soon-to-expire leases, and it is formulating a long-term strategy in respect of the sites concerned, of the details of the relevant work (including whether ENB will adopt the "single site, multiple use" model for developing those sites)?

     President, the consolidated replies of the Environment Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department and the Lands Department to the above four questions are as follows:
(1) At present, there are about 180 petrol filling stations (PFS) and 12 dedicated liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) filling stations in Hong Kong, all of them are set up on sites permitted by the Government for such purposes. According to the current policy, the lease term of PFS sites granted by the Government through public tender is 21 years. Under the staggering arrangements for the tendering of PFS sites, there are currently 20 sites pending for retendering, and the land leases for the remaining PFS sites will expire in 2023 or later. The tender records of PFS sites have been uploaded on the Lands Department's webpage (www.landsd.gov.hk/en/resources/land-info-stat/land-sale/land-sale-records.html).
     In addition, the new contracts for the 12 dedicated LPG filling stations were awarded in May 2021 and would take effect in phases between September 2021 and mid-2023. Details of the new contracts (e.g. location of the LPG filling stations and contractual period) have been uploaded on the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department's webpage (www.emsd.gov.hk/en/tenders_contracts_and_consultancies/tender_notices/award_of_tender/index.html).
(2) and (3) The Environment Bureau just published the first Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles in March this year. It has set a goal for the cessation of the sale of conventional fuel-propelled private cars, which is to cease the new registration of fuel-propelled private cars including hybrid vehicles in 2035 or earlier. Although we expect that the demand for auto-fuels and LPG will decrease gradually, or the auto-fuel market will even decline after a few decades, the measures and plans to promote the popularisation of electric vehicles (EVs) will need to be timely reviewed taking into account the technological, environmental, social and economic developments, and the relevant process would not be completed in one step. Therefore, it is too early at this stage to assess the impact on the relevant operators and retail prices of auto-fuels in a concrete manner. We will closely monitor the progress of the popularisation of EVs, results of future retendering of PFS sites and changes in the auto-fuel market, etc., in order to make timely assessments. 
(4) To support the popularisation of EVs and in anticipation of the reduced demand in the auto-fuel market, the Government will review the land use of the PFSs and study the feasibility of gradually converting some existing petrol or LPG filling stations to quick charging stations in the medium to long term. We will also explore the option of developing some larger sites of filling stations under the "single site, multiple use" development model which includes, among other uses, mega charging stations that offer charging services to various types of vehicles simultaneously. At the same time, during the process of market transformation, even though the demand for auto-fuels will gradually decline, the Government will still strive to ensure a stable and reliable supply of auto-fuels. 
Ends/Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Issued at HKT 11:50
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