LCQ8: Promoting use of electric vehicles

     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Siu-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan, in the Legislative Council today (January 17):
     On promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the latest numbers of private cars and EVs in Hong Kong, and the latest proportion of the number of EVs in the number of private cars in Hong Kong; the respective (i) total numbers of vehicles, (ii) numbers of EVs (and their proportions in the total numbers of vehicles), and (iii) numbers of hybrid vehicles (and their proportions in the total numbers of vehicles) owned by various policy bureaux/government departments in each of the past three years (set out in the table below);
Policy bureaux/
government departments
Year (i) (ii) (iii)
(2) given that in reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on the Estimates of Expenditure 2023-2024, the Government indicated that some government departments were not able to switch to EVs in accordance with the green procurement practice when they procured new government private cars and when government private cars were due to be replaced, and it was mainly because the models of EVs available on the market were unable to meet the actual operational needs of the departments concerned (such as the need to attend to service calls at any time or travel long distances and engage in outside operations for a long time, thereby making it difficult to have enough time to recharge EVs), of the Government's proposals to address the relevant problems, so as to increase the usage of EVs among government departments;
(3) as there are views reflecting that the lack of EV charging facilities in the car parks of some civil servant quarters and government properties has hindered the use of EVs by civil servants, whether the Government has reviewed the relevant situation and taken follow-up measures (such as installing additional EV charging facilities); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(4) to encourage more members of the public to switch to EVs, whether the Hong Kong Housing Authority will consider setting up a separate application queue in its public car parks for the monthly parking spaces with EV charging facilities installed to give EV owners priority in applying for such parking spaces?
     In consultation with the Housing Bureau, the Transport Department and the Government Logistics Department (GLD), I would like to reply to the question raised by the Hon Chan as follows:
(1) As at end-November 2023, the total numbers of private cars and electric private cars (e-PCs) in Hong Kong were 645 490 and 72 011 respectively, with e-PCs accounting for about 11.2 per cent of all private cars.
     According to the statistics of the GLD, the numbers and percentages of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles in the government fleet under various departments in the past three years are tabulated in Annex.
(2) The Environmental Protection Department updated the green procurement practice for government vehicles in July 2021, setting out the use of EVs as the standard when procuring or replacing government private cars with five seats or less, unless circumstances such as operational needs that render the use of EVs infeasible. The Government has been following the green procurement practice in procuring EVs, having regard to the operational needs of the policy bureaux and departments as well as the actual market situation.
     Statistics of the GLD showed that 55 (about 63.2 per cent) of the 87 government private cars with five seats or less (including both new and replacement vehicles) procured by the Government in 2023 were EVs. According to the information from the departments concerned, the main reason for not switching to EVs is that current models of e-PCs available on the market are unable to meet the actual operational needs, such as long hours of outdoor operations, thereby making it difficult to have sufficient time for recharging. As quick charging support is required for the daily operation of some government vehicles, relevant government departments have started installing quick chargers progressively for quick top-ups with a view to expediting the transition of their fleets to EVs.
(3) The Government updated the Joint Circular on Green Government Buildings in March 2023, stipulating that all parking spaces for private cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles (whether indoors or outdoors) within the boundaries of newly built government buildings with tender documents issued on or after April 1, 2023 must be fully equipped with medium EV chargers. As for existing government buildings, where technically feasible, efforts would be taken to provide EV charging facilities for all parking spaces for private cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles. It is also noted that relevant bureaux/departments have planned to install EV chargers in the car parks of their staff quarters. We will provide technical and policy support regarding future installation of EV charging facilities for them to assist in following up on the related matters.
(4) The Hong Kong Housing Authority classifies applicants for monthly parking spaces in its car parks into different priority categories according to the prevailing policy, and determines the priority of applicants for parking spaces allocation by ballot based on the type of parking spaces and the category of the applicant. For the sake of fairness, the same mechanism for determining the priority of allocation of monthly parking spaces is applicable to both applicants for EVs space and applicants for non-EVs space. Nevertheless, for the best use of resources, if the applicant's vehicle is an EV and he/she is allocated with a monthly parking space according to his/her priority, he/she is allowed to select a space with EV charger according to his/her priority before other applicants with non-EVs.

Ends/Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Issued at HKT 11:24