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LCQ2: EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme
     Following is a question by the Hon Gary Zhang and a reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, in the Legislative Council today (June 15):


     The Government has, since October 2020, launched the EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme (EHSS) to subsidise the installation of electric vehicle charging-enabling infrastructure in car parks of existing private residential buildings. The ceiling for the subsidy is set at $30,000 per eligible parking space in the car park, or $15 million for the entire development or the entire private housing estate, whichever is lower. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) among the applications approved under the EHSS, of (i) the number of housing estates in which the parking spaces were granted the full-rate subsidy of $30,000, and the total number of such parking spaces involved, as well as (ii) the number of housing estates which were granted the full-rate subsidy of $15 million as the car park therein provides more than 500 parking spaces, but as a result the full-rate subsidy of $30,000 was not granted for each parking space therein, and the total number of such parking spaces involved and the average amount of subsidy for each of such parking spaces; and

(2) of the criteria adopted for vetting and approving EHSS applications, and how the Government defines "the entire development" and "the entire private housing estate" (in particular how it handles the relevant applications from large-scale housing estates with several phases of intake)?



     First of all, I would like to thank the Hon Gary Zhang for his attention and question on the EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme (EHSS).

     The Government launched the $2 billion EHSS in October 2020, with the aim of providing technical and financial support to the car parks of existing private residential buildings, which generally have multiple ownership, to promote the installation of electrical vehicle (EV) charging-enabling infrastructure therein so that individual owners or users of parking spaces can install EV chargers of their choice according to their specific needs and charge EVs at their own estates in the future.

     Since the launch of the EHSS to end May 2022, a total of 589 applications have been received which covers over 120 000 parking spaces, more than double the original target of about 60 000 parking spaces. To meet market demand, the Government proposed in the 2022-23 Budget and the Legislative Council (LegCo) has approved further injection of $1.5 billion to extend the EHSS for four years to the 2027-28 financial year. With the additional funding, it is anticipated that the EHSS will be able to support installation of EV charging-enabling infrastructure for some 140 000 parking spaces in around 700 car parks of the existing private residential buildings, accounting for about half of the eligible parking spaces in Hong Kong. We are reviewing the experience gained in the initial stage of implementation of the EHSS with a view to exploring further room for improvement so as to allow car parks in need of EV charging facilities in the private residential buildings to benefit from the scheme at a timely manner.

     My reply to the questions raised by the Hon Gary Zhang is as follows:

(1) Since the introduction of the EHSS, we have approved 270 applications. Of which, the car parks of 35 estates or developments are with over 500 parking spaces. Successful applicants have started to employ consultants from last year and since the first quarter of this year, they have started to employ contractors for the installation works. As EHSS subsidies are released according to the actual cost incurred for the installation works, the actual amount of subsidy receivable by each successful applicant and the average amount of subsidy granted to each parking space will not be available until the installation works for the car parks concerned are completed.

(2) As regards the criteria adopted for vetting and approving EHSS applications, we have, before launching the EHSS, solicited the views of different stakeholders including the property management sector, owners' corporations, owners, EV charging facilities trade, EV suppliers and the two power companies. We have also consulted an inter-departmental working group (the Working Group) which comprises representatives from relevant government departments. On December 16, 2019, we submitted to the LegCo Panel on Environmental Affairs a paper for discussion on the specific proposals for the EHSS, the levels of subsidies, the criteria to be met by all target car parks eligible for the EHSS, etc. The proposals were supported by the Panel. After consulting the Working Group, the Department of Justice and the Independent Commission Against Corruption, we formulated the implementation details and rules of the EHSS and set them out in the EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme - Application Notes. On October 21, 2020, the EHSS was open for application and its details were uploaded to the dedicated website concurrently to provide guidance to those interested in joining the scheme to submit their applications.

     As the EHSS is funded by public resources, we have set a ceiling for the level of subsidy, i.e. $30,000 per parking space or $15 million in total for the entire development, whichever is lower, with a view to ensuring prudent use of public money, effective control of financial implications of the EHSS as a whole and maximisation of the effectiveness of the scheme. To treat all applications fairly, we make use of the promulgated implementation details and rules as mentioned above to determine the ceiling of subsidy and the amount of subsidy receivable for each application. Car parks are considered as being in the same development if they are ancillary to buildings in the same development. Residential estates sharing a common estate name or buildings that are geographically adjacent to each other and with related building names are also regarded as the same development. We have received applications from several large-scale residential estates that were developed in phases, and these applications are vetted and processed according to the same set of rules.

     Thank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:42
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