CLP on the road to a greener Hong Kong

Local | Jane Cheung and Sophie Hui 24 May 2019

Electricity giant CLP Group aims to replace 1,000 of its conventional cars with electric ones by 2030.

It will also encourage employees to switch to electric cars by offering charging facilities at work.

The power supplier for the New Territories, Hong Kong Island, Lantau and outlying islands is aiming to switch all of its vehicles weighing below 3.5 tonnes and half of those between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes to electric ones by 2030.

Among the 1,000 vehicles, more than 900 of them weigh less than 3.5 tonnes.

"We also encourage our employees to adopt low-carbon driving by providing electric vehicle charging facilities at work," CLP said. "Currently, we have equipped all our premises in Hong Kong with a total of 196 charging points."

The company is looking to provide charging facilities at its offices in foreign cities by 2030 to encourage staff members to switch from ordinary vehicles to electric ones.

For general citizens, CLP currently provides 54 free public charging stations, while there are a total of 161 charging points in its power supply area.

Richard Lancaster, the power giant's chief executive, said electric vehicles reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help alleviate roadside air pollution.

"A shift to electric transport is a global trend and as a major electricity supplier, we see our role as leading and enabling this transition," he said.

The company has become the first SAR enterprise to join the global EV100 initiative run by the Climate Group, which is an international green group.

The campaign aims to encourage businesses to become committed to making electric transport "the new normal" by 2030.

Helen Clarkson, chief executive at the Climate Group, said air pollution poses an increasing threat to people's health.

"We need ambitious business leadership to drive the switch to clean, electric transport," she said.

While CLP is going to convert its fleet to electric vehicles, the government said all three e-taxis previously on trial under the Pilot Green Transport Fund have been turned into private cars.

On Wednesday, undersecretary for the Environment Tse Chin-wan told lawmaker Gary Chan Hak-kan that as taxis generally run almost nonstop the entire day, drivers can't spare four hours per day to charge their vehicles.

He also said most of the existing e-taxis and electric light buses on trial are yet to be able to cope with the requirements of the local transport sectors with respect to the driving range and charging times of taxis and public light buses.

Wong Wing-chung, the owner of the last of Hong Kong's four electric taxis, had told The Standard that his China-made BYD e-taxi has been turned into scrap last October as there was no subsidy to change the car's battery and its general maintenance. He also said he would have needed to pay a hefty tax bill if he turned the taxi into a car for private use.

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