LCQ22: Popularisation of electric vehicles

     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hak-kan and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (October 20):


     In March this year, the Government published the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles (the Roadmap) to promote the popularisation of electric vehicles (EVs). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective numbers of newly registered (a) fuel-propelled and (b) electric (i) private cars and (ii) commercial vehicles in Hong Kong in the past three years (with a tabulated breakdown of the numbers of commercial vehicles by vehicle class);
(2) as the Government has indicated in the Roadmap that it has implemented the following measure within the Government: EVs must be the standard for all newly procured small and medium private cars and those due for replacement, whether the Government will extend such measure to other classes of government vehicles (e.g. light buses, motorcycles and light goods vehicles); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(3) as the Government has indicated in the Roadmap that it will encourage public organisations to make reference to the measure mentioned in (2), whether it knows the respective numbers and percentages of fuel-propelled vehicles and EVs in the existing fleets of the MTR Corporation Limited, the Urban Renewal Authority, the Hongkong Post, the Airport Authority Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Housing Society;
(4) whether it will request the various public organisations to set specific targets for the full adoption of EVs; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; whether it will, by making reference to the practices in other places, require that at least a certain percentage of the vehicles in those fleets of a certain scale of private and public organisations must be EVs; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(5) given that public chargers for EVs (chargers) are unevenly distributed across the various districts at present, with the number of chargers in Kwun Tong (over 800) accounting for 20 per cent of the total number of chargers in Hong Kong while the numbers of those set up in Tai Po, Tuen Mun and the Southern District being all less than 60, of the reasons for that; whether the Government will, in deciding on the sites selected for new public charging facilities (e.g. new chargers installed at on-street parking spaces), accord priority to those districts set up with fewer chargers;
(6) of the respective numbers of chargers that the Government (i) has installed and (ii) is planning to install at on-street parking spaces, as well as their geographic distribution; and
(7) as the Government indicated earlier that it would explore the option of setting up public quick charging facilities across the territory, of the sites selected for and the details of such facilities; given that the Government will study the feasibility of progressively converting existing petrol filling stations and liquefied petroleum gas filling stations into quick charging stations in the medium to long term, of the latest progress of the study?

     Having consulted the Government Logistics Department, the Transport Department (TD), the Hongkong Post, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) and the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), I provide my response to the question raised by the Hon Chan Hak-kan as follows:
(1) Based on the information provided by the TD, the respective numbers of private cars and commercial vehicles (including goods vehicles, buses, light buses, taxis and special purpose vehicles) first registered in Hong Kong over the past three years are tabulated below:
Year Vehicle class Number of vehicles
first registered in the year
Electric Fuel-propelled Total
2018 Private car 471 41 816 42 287
Goods vehicle 16 9 849 9 865
Bus 5 1 317 1 322
Light bus 0 898 898
Taxi 0 1 770 1 770
Special purpose vehicle 5 164 169
2019 Private car 2 423 35 886 38 309
Goods vehicle 42 8 949 8 991
Bus 3 823 826
Light bus 1 749 750
Taxi 0 1 118 1 118
Special purpose vehicle 5 141 146
2020 Private car 4 595 32 441 37 036
Goods vehicle 35 5 392 5 427
Bus 0 496 496
Light bus 0 303 303
Taxi 0 805 805
Special purpose vehicle 9 110 119
Note: Government EVs are not included in the figures as government vehicles are not required to be registered.
(2) To demonstrate the Government's commitment to pushing forward Hong Kong's transition to adoption of EVs, the Government is prepared to switch its vehicle fleet to EVs at a faster pace. The Government has set EV as the standard for small and medium government private cars to be procured or replaced, unless there are special circumstances such as operational needs that render the use of EVs infeasible. 
     For other classes of vehicles, the Government will accord priority to the use of EVs or greener vehicles. The Government will advance in tandem with the global development in exploring electrification of other types of vehicles in the government fleet when the relevant technology is well established, and will strike a balance between prudent use of public monies and taking the lead in using EVs.

(3) and (4) The respective numbers of EVs and fuel-propelled vehicles and the respective percentages of EVs in the existing fleets of the Hongkong Post, the AAHK, the MTRCL, the HKHS and the URA as at end-2020 are tabulated below:
Name of Government department or organisation Number of vehicles in the fleet Percentage of EVs in the fleet
Electric Fuel-propelled Total
Hongkong Post 9 263 272 3%
AAHK 386 144 530 73%
MTRCL 5 575 580 1%
HKHS 0 8 8 0%
URA 0 5 5 0%
     Since the promulgation of the Roadmap in March this year, the feedbacks from different sectors of the community are positive. To promote the transition to adoption of EVs in public organisations, the Government have proactively approached and encouraged different organisations to set relevant targets making reference to the Government's policy. Some of the public organisations have indicated that they will actively consider replacing some vehicles in their fleets with EVs in a progressive manner and installing additional EV charging facilities in their properties. The Government will continue to work closely with public organisations to promote the adoption of EVs and installation of charging facilities.
(5) As at the end of September 2021, more than 4 600 EV chargers from the private and public organisations were open to public use, among which over 1 700 were offered by the Government and the rest by the private organisations. As stated in the Roadmap, the Government's target is to have at least 5 000 public chargers provided by the private and public organisations by 2025, and we plan to double the number in future. When expanding the public EV charging network in the future, the Government will review the distribution and demand of public EV charging facilities in the 18 districts in Hong Kong and strike a balance to address the districts' demand as far as practicable.
     On the other hand, we also noted that quite a number of developers and property management companies have progressively installed EV chargers at their commercial buildings or shopping malls to meet the needs of their tenants or visitors. With the growing EV uptake, the Government will progressively marketise EV charging services and has planned to start imposing EV charging fees in government car parks from around 2025. This will help drive the provision of more customerised public EV charging services by the private sector and hence further expand the EV charging network in Hong Kong.
(6) Taking into account relevant factors such as the power supply and space constraints, potential impact on nearby traffic as well as other drivers' parking needs, the Government needs to look for suitable on-street parking spaces to install charging facilities. The Government has installed nine chargers at some on-street parking spaces in Mui Wo and they have been open for public use since July this year. In addition, installation of nine other chargers at some on-street parking spaces in Tai O is underway, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. 
(7) The consultant engaged by the Government has assisted in identifying preliminary potential sites for setting up public quick charging facilities, including sites of various scale and conditions, such as vacant government lands, in the vicinity of electricity substations, spaces under flyovers and road-dividing zones to complement the development of charging network. In addition, the Government is studying the work required to gradually converting some existing petrol or liquefied petroleum gas filling stations into quick charging stations in the medium to long term. We will 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.

Ends/Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Issued at HKT 12:35