The state of Electric Cars in Hong Kong (as of Dec 2016 end)

We have produced the following spreadsheet showing the state of Electric Private Cars in Hong Kong today:

Some comments to make:

1. The HK$97,500 tax cap equates to a vehicle costing less than HK$200,000 being 100% FRT free (40% of $150,000 + 75% of $50,000). There are no private electric cars available on the market at that price point, so this new policy effectively taxes ALL electric private cars in Hong Kong.

2. Dr Paul Chan has indicated that the new policy is intended to support an electric car costing HK$400,000. Let's look at the BMW i3 for example. At HK$451,000 (tax free), that competes directly against vehicles such as the Prius Hybrid (Super Luxury trim level) at HK$353,500. The electric car, even tax free, is more expensive than the equivalent petrol car. Considering fuel savings and ignoring charging issues, still 51 of those BMW i3 were sold in the second half of last year. But, now that we have this new tax, and even with HK$97,500 waiver, the same BMW i3 costs HK$677,000 while the price of the Prius is unchanged. How will the BMW i3 compete in this market?

3. Tesla Model S clearly dominates the market.

We've discussed why Tesla has been seeing such success here, when the car is significantly more expensive than other electric vehicles. In particular, we don't see this disparity in other markets with similar incentives such as Norway (where the spread of vehicle models is much more even). The answer appears to be two-fold:

Firstly, while Tesla offers a global 'fair pricing' model (so their cars are sold at the same price, no matter the country they are sold in, while taking into account currency, tax, and transportation costs), the other suppliers do not. When comparing against European and American prices for the same vehicles, the mark-up of the other electric cars is significantly higher. This narrows the price gap between the Tesla and the cheaper alternatives here in Hong Kong. Simply put, it is not that much more expensive to buy a Tesla.

Secondly, owning a private car in Hong Kong is expensive. In particular, the cost of parking and charging infrastructure. Wealthy people are more likely to buy private cars, and by definition those people have more available money to spend. Such owners are also more likely to be able to charge at home/work (living in houses, owning their own car parks, etc). Tesla's investment into SuperCharging and Destination Charging here (which the other electric car brands have not done) is significant in easing the burden of relying on public charging.


Paul Chan has put a break on purchase of electric vehicles. Yet, I seriously question whether it would achieve what he wants, i.e. improve traffic congestion problems. People would continue to buy cars, but now just not electric.

However, I think we still have a way to continue promoting electric vehicles and at the same time control the amount of cars on the road. This could be achieved by implementing a Scrapping Incentive Scheme for Electric Vehicles (similar to the Scrapping Incentive Scheme implemented by the government in 1996 and which ended in 2002). The scheme allows owners of private petrol cars aged 10 years or more who scrap their cars and replace them with new electric vehicles to enjoy a reduction in (or even better, a full exemption of) the first registration tax.

Something similar has been suggested by several members, and makes good sense. It was also suggested that the petrol private car would have had to be owned for at least 3 years (to avoid people buying a HK$5,000 end-of-life car, get the incentive, then scrap it).

在2017-18財政預算案中,財政司司長將電動私家車(下稱電動車)的首次登記稅的寬免額上限定為$97,500。Charged Hong Kong(電動香港)對此表示非常失望及憒憾:

根據現時私家車的首次登記稅的稅階($150,000的40%+ $50,000的75%=$97,500),只有$200,000的電動車才可完全享有100%免稅。可惜,現時香港電動私家車市場上,根本沒有這樣的電動車供應。因此,司長這項新政策,變相是向所有電動車徵稅。相信在四月一日後,所有電動車的銷量將會銳減。

財政司司長表示新政策旨在支持$400,000的電動車。讓我們以寶馬 i3為例,根據寶馬官方網站資料,該車稅前售價是$451,000,同級車輛(例如豐田 Prius豪華版)則約為$353,500。明顯地,電動車甚至完全免首次登記稅,都較同級的汽油車為貴。因此,去年下半年只有51台寶馬 i3售出。在財政司司長提出的新稅制下,即使有$97,500的寬免額,寶馬i3的售價將大增為約$677,000。在豐田 Prius的售價依舊的情況下,試問寶馬 i3如何競爭呢?如此類推,市場上現有的電動車售價將大幅上升,再加上公共或私人電設施不足,車主完全無任何誘因購買或轉用電動車。



Feel free to use above in case you meet any Chinese Media