More supply of electric vehicles, working group formed to strengthen charging infrastructure

Hong Kong continues to work with electric vehicles (EVs) suppliers from around the world to increase the local fleet of electric cars as they come into commercial production in the coming year, the Steering Committee on the Promotion of EVs was told today (July 9). To facilitate the adoption of EVs, the Government plans to take steps to expand the EV charging network. Further to the launching of Mitsubishi’s "i-MiEV", Tesla’s "Roadster" and "MyCar" in the local retail market,Nissan Motor Co ., Ltd.

has agreed with the Environment Bureau of the HKSAR Government to advance the supply of its electric car "Nissan LEAF" to the Hong Kong market.The car manufacturer will set aside a quota of 200 cars for corporate clients in Hong Kong in its first batch of production. The first "Nissan LEAF" is expected to arrive in February 2011, subject to the placement of purchase orders in summer 2010. According to Nissan, it will start mass-marketing EVs globally in 2012.

For Mitsubishi’s "i-MiEV" and Tesla’s "Roadster", Hong Kong is the first Asia city outside Japan where they have been launched in the retail market. Smith’s commercial EVs, including minibus, panel van and truck, are expected to be launched in Hong Kong in the latter half of 2010.

"We have been liaising with different car manufacturers around the world to advance the supply schedule of electric vehicles to Hong Kong.In the case of "Nissan LEAF", Hong Kong will be the first place in Asia outside Japan where car users can enjoy the driving experience of this EV model.The supply of electric vehicles also offers our private sector with a solution to green their corporate fleets," said Mr Edward Yau, the Secretary for the Environment, after the fourth meeting of the Steering Committee today.

The provision of charging infrastructure will be crucial to the promotion of electric vehicles as the fleet continues to build up in Hong Kong.In this connection, the Steering Committee will set up a working group to promote electric car charging facilities, particularly at car parks of commercial and residential buildings.

"In anticipation of a growing number of electric vehicles running in Hong Kong streets, the working group will provide a platform for relevant Government departments and stakeholders to work together to facilitate the development of charging facilities," Mr Yau said. Members of the working group include representatives from power companies, the property development and management sector, the car park operator sector and relevant Government departments.The working group is tasked to address issues of concern, solicit cross-sectoral support and develop guidelines for installing charging facilities.

The Steering Committee was also briefed at today’s meeting by representatives from Better Place, a California-based company, on its global progress in developing a market-based transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles.