LCQ15: EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme
The Government launched the EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme (EHSS) in October 2020 to subsidise the installation of electric vehicle charging-enabling infrastructure (EVCEI) in the car parks of existing private buildings. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the following information since the launch of EHSS: (i) the number of applications received and the total number of car parking spaces involved; (ii) the number of applications approved as well as the total amount of subsidies and the total number of car parking spaces involved; (iii) among the car parking spaces involved in the approved applications, the respective numbers of those for which EVCEI has been installed and is still being installed; and (iv) the number of applications rejected (with a breakdown by major reason for rejection);
(2) given that the ceiling of subsidy under EHSS is set at $30,000 per eligible car parking space in a car park, or $15 million for an entire development or an entire private housing court, whichever is lower, but it is learnt that as some large-scale private housing courts which were completed in phases (such as Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Kingswood Villas and Taikoo Shing) have more than 1 000 car parking spaces in their car parks, such private housing courts are unable to receive sufficient subsidies under EHSS and have given up participating in EHSS, whether the authorities will relax or enhance EHSS; if so, of the specific details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) given that the Government launched the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles (the Roadmap) last year with the target of having at least 150 000 car parking spaces in private residential and commercial buildings equipped with EVCEI by 2025, of the current progress of the relevant work; whether the authorities have assessed if the target of the Roadmap can be achieved as scheduled?
Owners of parking spaces of private residential buildings and estates with multiple ownership often experience difficulty in reaching a consensus with their owners' corporations and other parking space owners on the installation works of electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities and sharing of the associated costs, thus rendering them unable to charge their EVs at their residences. In order to help the existing private residential buildings and estates resolve these problems, the Government launched the $2 billion EV-charging at Home Subsidy Scheme (EHSS) in October 2020, with the aim of providing technical and financial support for the existing private residential buildings and estates for resolving the problems often encountered in retrofitting EV charging-enabling infrastructure (EVCEI) in the car parks; and promoting them to install EVCEI in their car parks.
With a view to ensuring prudent use of public money, benefitting more car parks of housing estates with the limited resources under the EHSS and maximising the effectiveness of the EHSS, the Government has to set the eligibility criteria and subsidy ceiling for the EHSS. The implementation details and rules are also incorporated in the EHSS - Application Notes (Application Notes), which were uploaded to the EHSS website concurrently when the EHSS was open for application for information of those who are interested in joining the EHSS and for serving as reference when they make the applications under the EHSS.
In order to encourage the installation of EVCEI in more car parks of the existing private residential buildings, the Government further injected an additional funding of $1.5 billion to the EHSS in the 2022-23 Budget to extend the EHSS for four years to the 2027-28 financial year. It is anticipated that the entire $3.5 billion EHSS will be able to support installation of EVCEI for some 140 000 parking spaces in around 700 car parks of the existing private residential buildings and estates, accounting for about half of the eligible parking spaces in Hong Kong.
As at end-October 2022, of the $3.5 billion funding under the EHSS, over $3 billion (i.e. more than 85 per cent) has been earmarked for the 636 applications received so far. With the assistance provided to the successful applicants by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), we anticipate that they could progressively finish the installation of EVCEI in 2027-28 or before as scheduled.
My reply to the question raised by the Hon Luk Chung-hung is as follows:
(1)(i) Since the launch of the EHSS on 21 October, 2020, up to end-October this year, a total of 636 applications covering over 128 000 parking spaces were received by the EPD;
(ii) and (iii) As at end-October this year, the EPD has approved 292 applications covering over 70 000 parking spaces. The successful applicants have progressively commenced the design stage of the EVCEI and employed contractors for the installation works, which will be gradually completed from November 2022 onwards. The actual amount of subsidies to be granted will only be available until the applicants have completed all the installation works; and
(iv) Since the launch of the EHSS, a total of five housing estates have been rejected for not meeting the eligibility criteria. Four of them were rejected because the applicants have entered into charging service contracts with charging service providers, while the remaining one was rejected as more than 60 per cent of its eligible parking spaces are in open area.
(2) For the prudent use of public money and benefitting more car parks of housing estates with the limited resources under the EHSS, it is necessary for the Government to set a subsidy ceiling, i.e. a maximum of $30,000 for each eligible parking space, or a maximum of $15 million for each development as per the definition of development under the EHSS, regardless of the number of car parks involved or the number of applications submitted, whichever is lower.
To treat all applications fairly, the EPD has set out the above subsidy ceiling in the Application Notes, so that those housing estates which intend to apply for the subsidies under the EHSS are aware of the subsidy ceiling, and take this into consideration before they make the application. All housing estates which are regarded as a single development under the EHSS, such as Kingswood Villas, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Taikoo Shing as mentioned in the question, and other large-scale housing estates such as Laguna City, South Horizons and Whampoa Garden will be considered by the EPD according to the same criteria if they make applications under the EHSS. Regardless of the size of the housing estate, the applicant who receives subsidy under the EHSS is required to make up for the difference if the actual cost of the installation works exceeds the subsidy ceiling.
The EPD will continue to review the effectiveness of the EHSS. We are considering if flexibility could be introduced so that more eligible car parks could be benefitted by the EHSS, on the premise that there will be no additional financial burden to the Government and the proposal will be without prejudice to the fairness of the EHSS.
(3) The EPD is actively processing the applications under the EHSS. Based on the current progress, it is anticipated that about 300 car parks covering a total of about 70 000 parking spaces will complete the installation of EVCEI under the EHSS by 2025. In addition, the Government will continue to promote the provision of EVCEI in car parks of new private buildings through the arrangement of gross floor area (GFA) concessions. From April 2011 to September 2022, over 76 700 parking spaces equipped with EVCEI have been approved for GFA concessions by the Government.
With the above two measures, we are confident to achieve the target of having no less than 150 000 parking spaces of private residential and commercial buildings equipped with EVCEI by 2025 as set out in the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of EVs.
Ends/Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:30
Issued at HKT 12:30