Hong Kong to test new-generation electric vehicle
Hong Kong is the first place in Asia, after Japan, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to test a new type of electric car.
The MoU was signed today (February 26) by the Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Ms Anissa Wong, the Managing Director, Universal Cars Limited, Mr Peter Wei, and the Corporate General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Mr Tohru Hashimoto.
The electric car, the Mitsubishi innovative electric vehicle ("i MiEV") provided by Mitsubishi Motors, will be evaluated in Hong Kong beginning as early as May 2009. It is currently being tested in Japan.
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau said, "Electric vehicles do not have tailpipe emissions and can help improve roadside air quality. I'm very glad that Hong Kong can be the first place in Asia, after Japan, to trial a new type of electric car. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today symbolised that Hong Kong has moved a major step forward in promoting the use of electric vehicles."
There have been some major breakthroughs recently in vehicle battery technology. Vehicle manufacturers are now tapping the technological advancement to produce electric vehicles that better suit drivers' needs.
"The trial of the i 'MiEV' will help the Government understand the performance of the new generation electric vehicles and the charging requirements for large scale introduction to Hong Kong," he said.
To promote electric vehicles, the Financial Secretary announced in his Budget Speech yesterday (February 25) that the Government would extend the waiver of the first registration tax on electric vehicles for five years to March 31, 2014.
The Government will promote the setting up of vehicle battery charging facilities in Hong Kong, including studying the feasibility of setting up charging facilities in government multi-storey car parks.
A steering committee chaired by the Financial Secretary will be set up to make recommendations on strategy and specific measures to promote the use of electric vehicles in Hong Kong.
Ends/Thursday, February 26, 2009