LCQ15: New energy vehicles


     Following is a question by the Hon Dominic Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan, in the Legislative Council today (March 22):


Regarding new energy vehicles, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it has drawn up a timetable for completely phasing out fuel-‍propelled vehicles; if so, of the arrangements for the disposal and recycling of fuel-propelled vehicles;

(2) given that the Government has pointed out in the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles that it will explore the gradual conversion of some existing petrol or liquefied petroleum gas filling stations to quick charging stations in the medium to long term, whether the Government will assist the operators concerned in switching to operating quick charging stations; if so, of the details and the timetable;

(3) as there are views that new energy vehicles and their related industries will continue to develop while the Government is promoting the popularisation of electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell EVs, whether the Government will provide forward-looking support for the industries concerned in the light of the new development; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(4) whether the Government will consider, by making reference to the practices of the Mainland, promoting the "vehicle-battery separation charging mode" and the "battery swapping and sharing concept", so as to relieve the problem of EV charging; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(5) as the Government has indicated that it will conduct a consultation on the producer responsibility scheme for retired EV batteries this year, of the relevant details and the consultation timetable;

(6) as the Secretary for Environment and Ecology indicated in his reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on November 9 last year that the Government was discussing with the trade, training institutes and other stakeholders about the requirements for and details of the voluntary registration of EV maintenance, of the progress of the relevant work;

(7) whether the Transport Department will, in view of the popularity of new energy vehicles, study the need to adjust the contents of the driving test; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(8) of the number and percentage of EVs in the registered vehicles in the government fleet, as well as the following information on such EVs: numbers, models, vehicle types, purchase prices, and numbers of service years to date (set out in a table)?



The Government announced the Hong Kong Roadmap on Popularisation of Electric Vehicles (EV Roadmap), Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong 2035, and Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 (Climate Action Plan) successively in March, June and October 2021, covering policy directions and future targets in different areas promoting the adoption of new energy transport technologies, so as to guide Hong Kong towards zero vehicular emissions before 2050 and attain carbon neutrality within the same timeframe.

Currently, carbon emissions from transport make up around 20 per cent of total carbon emissions in Hong Kong. To tie in with the target of achieving carbon neutrality before 2050 in Hong Kong, developing new energy transport is an integral component of realising our targets in emission reduction. The EV Roadmap has set out the target to cease new registration of fuel-propelled private cars (PCs) (including hybrids) in 2035 or earlier. The Government has made notable progress in promoting the popularisation of EVs. Driven by various government policies, the percentage of electric PCs among all newly registered PCs has soared in recent years from 6.3 per cent in 2019 to 52.8 per cent in 2022. "The Chief Executive's 2022 Policy Address" has set out the target to introduce about 700 electric buses and about 3 000 electric taxis by end-2027.

In consultation with the Transport and Logistics Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) and the Government Logistics Department, my reply to the question raised by the Hon Dominic Lee is as follows:

(1) With reference to the policy directions set out by the EV Roadmap promulgated in 2021, Hong Kong has set out the target to cease new registration of fuel-propelled PCs (including hybrids) in 2035 or earlier. Other than acting in tandem with the global trend to phase out fuel-propelled vehicles progressively, this target will provide stakeholders with sufficient time to prepare for the transition to EVs. As the target only covers new registered fuel-propelled PCs, PCs that had registered by then can still run on roads. As such, we anticipate that it is unlikely for the emergence of a large number of abandoned fuel-propelled vehicles before and after 2035.

Regardless of fuel type of cars (fuel-propelled or electric), all registered owners are responsible for handling unwanted vehicles under their names properly (such as having the vehicle broken up, destroyed or exported). In accordance with Regulation 20(1) of the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap. 374E), the registered owner of a vehicle shall, within 15 days after the vehicle is broken up, destroyed or dispatched out of Hong Kong, notify the Commissioner for Transport in writing as well as deliver the registration document and vehicle licence relating to the vehicle at the same time.

The Environment and Ecology Bureau (EEB) will maintain close liaison with relevant departments, including the Transport Department, to follow up with the ancillary works in connection with the cessation of registration of fuel-propelled vehicles in a timely manner in the future.

(2) At present, there are about 180 petrol filling stations (PFS) including non-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. Under the staggering arrangements for the tendering of PFS sites, there are currently about 20 sites pending for retendering, and the land leases for the remaining PFS sites will expire progressively in the future. The Government is reviewing multiple PFS sites that are pending for retendering, including studying the need and feasibility of gradually converting these sites to quick charging stations in the medium to long term. The Government will also explore the feasibility of developing some larger sites of PFS stations under the "single site, multiple use" development model.

To facilitate the conversion of PFS to quick charging stations, we have already been communicating with related operators and listening to their opinions, as well as liaising with relevant government departments regarding site selection and the tenancy arrangements of the sites etc. We plan to invite tenders this year for the conversion of the first PFS site to a quick charging station.

(3) Electric vehicles (EVs)

EVs will become more prevalent and will gradually replace petrol and diesel PCs. In this connection, the EMSD of the Government has been actively discussing with stakeholders such as the trade, academia, training institutes, professional bodies and vehicle owners’ associations to jointly investigate the impact of the EV Roadmap, Climate Action Plan, and the development of EV trade on the industry of car maintenance.

The Government has been collaborating with various stakeholders to jointly promote and support EV technologies and the training of EV technicians and mechanics. For instance, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is expected to commence a diploma course on EV repair and maintenance to provide existing vehicle mechanics the opportunity to gain maintenance knowledge of the low-voltage systems in EVs and upgrade their skill set.

Hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles

Currently, hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles are still at an early stage of development. Different parts of the world have all been allocating resources in works relevant to industry research and development, trial operations and ancillary infrastructure development. To cater for the development trend and the demand for ancillary facilities for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs), the EEB is leading an inter-departmental working group (IWG) to progressively commence the trials of hydrogen fuel cell electric double-deckers and heavy vehicles in the second half of 2023, taking local circumstances into account.

The IWG will conduct risk assessments on hydrogen refilling stations, the arrangements of hydrogen supply, and HFCEVs on road, etc., as well as review relevant regulations, standards and technical guidelines, with a view to preparing for the establishment of a legal framework for the local use of hydrogen fuel. The Government will study the feasibility of amending the existing Gas Safety Ordinance, which regulates LPG vehicles, to cover hydrogen fuel, so as to effectively regulate HFCEVs, hydrogen fuel supply chain and the safety of HFCEV mechanics and repair workshops to support the local use of hydrogen fuel in the future.

While conducting the aforementioned tasks, the Government will liaise closely with the trade and will collaborate with training institutes to provide with the trade suitable training.

(4) and (5) As EVs used in Hong Kong are imported from different places, it is more difficult to regulate related manufacturers on standardising the models and specifications of batteries. As such, at this stage the Government has not yet a plan on promoting vehicle-battery separation charging mode and battery swapping. However, we will closely monitor the relevant technological development as well as its suitability for application in Hong Kong. We will keep a close eye on the use and the supply of local EVs, and factors such as the international development of EV standards and modes, to decide the way forward. The EV Roadmap has set out the policy direction of the introduction of a producer responsibility scheme to further ensure the proper collection and handling of retired EV batteries. We are liaising with the trade and relevant stakeholders and have started conducting business impact assessments, and will prepare for conducting consultation later this year. The aim is to introduce a bill within 2024.

(6) The Government launched the Voluntary Registration Scheme for Vehicle Mechanics and the Voluntary Registration Scheme for Vehicle Maintenance Workshops respectively in 2007 and 2015. The Schemes suggested adding dedicated classes of service pertaining to vehicle mechanics and vehicle maintenance workshops for EVs under the existing voluntary registration system for vehicle maintenance with an aim of enhancing the overall standard of the local vehicle maintenance trade.

To tie in with the EV Roadmap, Climate Action Plan, and the latest development of EVs, the Government has been actively consulting the Vehicle Maintenance Technical Advisory Committee, which comprises of stakeholders such as the Government, the trade, academia, training institutes, professional bodies and vehicle owners’ associations, and studying the covering of EV maintenance under the existing voluntary registration system for vehicle maintenance. The aim is to put forward recommendations on registration requirements (including training and skill required for mechanics and facilities required for repair workshop registration etc.), detailed arrangements and implementation timeframe in 2023/24. As for the regulations on future HFCEV maintenance and relevant technicians, the Government will consult the trade and various stakeholders in a timely manner.

(7) The requirements of driving tests are specified in Regulation 12D (motor cycles and motor tricycles) and Regulation 33 (other classes of vehicles) of the Road Traffic (Driving Licences) Regulations (Cap. 374B). Currently, all candidates, regardless of fuel type of cars, will be assessed with the same standard. The candidates have to demonstrate their driving skills and abilities in the course of the driving test, in order to satisfy the driving examiners that they are able to comply with the driving test requirements under the laws. Meanwhile, the vehicle used in a driving test, regardless of fuel type, must fulfil the requirements stipulated by the Transport Department on aspects including length, weight and wheel span.

(8) At present, 153 vehicles (excluding specialised vehicles) in the government fleet have been switched to EVs. They include 132 cars, 1 motorcycle and 20 vans. The types, models, quantities, years of use and purchase prices of these vehicles are listed below:

(a) Electric cars

Vehicle model Quantity Average
years of use
Average purchase price per vehicle
(approximate HK$)
Hyundai IONIQ Electric 13 4.2 235,000
KIA Niro EV 42 1.2 278,000
KIA Niro EV+ 1 1.1 309,000
Renault Fluence Z.E. 47 8.9 344,000
Renault Zoe 28 6.5 262,000
Tesla Model S 85 1 7.0 718,000
Total 132

(b) Electric motorcycle

Vehicle model Quantity Years of use
Purchase price
(approximate HK$)
ZERO S ZF13.0 1 6.3 138,000

(c) Electric vans

Vehicle model Quantity Average
years of use
Average purchase price per vehicle
(approximate HK$)
Renault Kangoo Z.E. 18 5.8 266,000
Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 2 2.6 320,000
Total 20


Ends/Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:35