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Bloomberg estimated China will run 99 percent of the world's battery by 2025
Wang.C.S  2018.06.27



Air-pollution caused 1,700 deaths in 2017. Despite incentives, EVs constitute only 2% of registered vehicles. Lukewarm policy, transport lobbies in LegCo, battery-failure under HK's weather and driving conditions, plus insufficient charging facilities, retard EV progress. Meanwhile, Shenzhen bus fleets and taxis have switched to battery-power already.

Commercial electric vehicles enjoy 100 percent First Registration Tax exemption. The Pilot Green Transport Fund subsidizes half the purchase of a vehicle. Since Hong Kong began testing electric buses in 2010, only 38 e-buses were purchased for trial runs. Of that, 26 e-buses have started operations, while the remaining buses may commence operation within the year.

The price of a single-deck electric bus with installation of the charging facility is about HK$5 million, which is around 2.5 times that of the conventional bus. As at the end of January, only 116 electric commercial vehicles had been licensed, according to a Legislative Council report.

In Shenzhen, across the border in the Chinese mainland, State-operated transport companies switched the bulk of their 16,000 buses and two thirds of their taxi fleet, to electric power. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects that by 2025, China will run 99 percent of the world's battery-powered buses.

Currently there are about 11,000 EVs supported by 1,800 public charging lots. That is a ratio of seven EVs to one charging lot. Cheng of PolyU said one charging lot can serve two EVs. It takes one night to fully charge an EV. It is impractical for multiple EVs to share one charging lot at the same time.

China Dynamics, a Hong Kong-based EV technology provider, is working with private organizations and charity foundations. Tony Cheung Ngan, chairman & CEO of China Dynamics, wants to become the "Apple in EVs." He aims to sell 50 EVs this year. Most of his vehicles are 12-meter and 8-meter-long shuttle and tour buses.

One challenge of promoting electric buses, Cheung said, is the lack of space for charging generators. A nursing home is a potential client of his company. Although located in the New Territories, its parking lot is only 400 square meters - just enough for five 12-meter-long shuttle buses.

EV operators usually set up their own charging facilities, working with the two power companies: Hong Kong Electric and the CLP Group. The power distribution grid is long established and efficient. There is no economic justification to substitute this with local high-power generators.

It is expected the number of EVs in Hong Kong to grow to 100,000 from the current 11,000, in the next three to five years. He worries that the lack of electrical engineers will create a crisis for maintenance. "Traditional automotive engineers have a mechanical engineering background, whereas electrical engineers need training in electronic power technology," he said.
 
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