U.S. electric automaker Tesla has established a 50-stall EV charging station in Hong Kong, now Asia's largest public Tesla charging site.
Led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, Tesla Monday announced the opening of the two-story charging station at FT Life Tower in Kowloon Bay.
Created in partnership with the building’s landlord, who owns a Tesla limousine, the two-floor car park, with a total area of 4,564 square metres, now has 50 Tesla wall connectors, charging at up to seven kilowatts per hour.
The car park, with 122 spaces, has an hourly parking fee of HK$28 (US$3.59) for all vehicles, with no extra cost for charging electric cars.
In Hong Kong there now are 92 Tesla superchargers at 21 supercharger stations, with more than 400 public and shared charging points.
A Tesla spokeswoman said the company would continue to add charging stations in Hong Kong by seeking more partnerships with private developers. She said more supercharger site openings are planned for 2019.
“We’re proud to have Hong Kong as the site for one of the world’s biggest destination charging stations, as part of our long-term commitment to Hong Kong owners," the Tesla spokeswoman told the "South China Morning Post."
"This underlines our continuous commitment to and investment in the Hong Kong market, as evident from these charging infrastructure additions,” she said.
Partnerships with private developers may boost Tesla’s sales, which took a big hit when the Hong Kong government reduced tax breaks on EVs for private use last April. Hong Kong has previously offered a full tax exemption for EV buyers.
With the EV waiver for the first registration tax capped at HK$97,500 (up to US$12,000) from April 1 last year, sales of electric cars plummeted.
Only 136 new EVs were registered from April 2017 to March 2018, compared with 5,819 in the same period the previous year.
Tesla sold just 40 cars in Hong Kong from April last year to February this year. By comparison, in March 2017 alone Tesla sold 2,939 electric cars.
Until the government cut the EV incentives, Tesla’s Model S and Model X were the most popular electric cars in Hong Kong, topping an active electric vehicle market with an 80+ percent market share.
After almost a year of few EV sales, Hong Kong in February announced that the replacement of some incentives in an attempt to revive the EV market.
The new incentives maintain the waiver of up to HK$97,500 on the city’s expensive first registration tax, and add a new, larger waiver of up to HK$250,000 (up to US$32,000). The new waivers are good through March 2021.
But drivers are only eligible for the waivers if they “arrange to scrap and de-register their own eligible old private car (private car with an internal combustion engine or electric private car) and then first register a new electric private car,” says the Hong Kong government.
Tesla says it hopes that Hong Kong officials will use the next budget, due early next year, "to take the lead to develop its clean energy goals."
Tesla was founded in 2003 in California by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars.
Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products. Tesla believes the more quickly the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.
By Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)
October 19, 2018