Electric-vehicle perk aimed at charging up policy address

Top News | Jane Cheung 16 Oct 2019

A HK$2 billion scheme to install electric-vehicle charging facilities in 60,000 parking spaces in private residential buildings was announced yesterday ahead of the policy address.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she will make her best effort to deliver her third policy address - which has a sky-blue theme signifying clear skies after a storm - in the Legislative Council this morning.

She said she will announce at least 200 new policy initiatives after her administration implemented "97 percent of some 500 initiatives" announced in her two previous speeches.

Speaking before an Executive Council meeting, Lam said: "I have confidence and will strive my very best to deliver my third policy address in Legco."

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing announced the three-year pilot subsidy scheme to upgrade 60,000 parking spaces in some 4,000 eligible car parks with charging sockets for e-vehicles.

About a quarter of all parking spaces in private residential buildings will be able to fuel e-vehicles by the end of 2022.

It aims to resolve the technical and financial problems private building co-owners face when installing such facilities, Wong said.

"It will also assist owners to charge their electric vehicles at home, particularly at night, to optimize the use of electricity during nonpeak hours," he said, adding details will be worked out with stakeholders.

"We aim to assist with the installation in eligible buildings to make their charging facilities akin to those buildings built in recent years."

The address will include plans to operate the Shenzhen Bay Port 24/7, making it the third Hong Kong-mainland port to do so after Huanggong Port and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The port, which mainly serves those traveling between New Territories West and the Nanshan district in Shenzhen, currently opens from 6.30am to 12am every day.

Sources previously said Lam will unveil housing initiatives in the address, including plans to speed up the sale of some 40,000 remaining flats in 39 public estates under the suspended tenants purchase scheme.

Lam is also expected to announce a subsidy for 160,000 low-income residents who are eligible for public housing flats but are still waiting in line to live in one.

For the first time, the address will come with an annex that lists the progress of policy implementation since Lam became chief in 2017.

"This is sort of a mid-term address, and I had decided some time ago, well before the unrest, that perhaps it's a good idea to give a comprehensive account of what we have done since we took office on July 1, 2017," she said.

"I am happy to say we have announced some 500 initiatives in the last two addresses and the achievement rate is close to 97 percent," she said.

"Despite the problems we are facing, which means we could not put in a lot of time and attention to the production of this address, we have come up with over 200 new initiatives in various areas."

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com



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