Environmental groups call on HK government to focus goals for the electrification of public transportation

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Environmental organisations in Hong Kong urged the government to establish goals and measures to achieve net-zero emission in transportation.

Photo by Chromatograph on Unsplash.

On 31 December, Civic Exchange, an independent public policy think tank, submitted a statement regarding the government’s plans in February to launch Hong Kong’s first Electric Vehicle Roadmap, criticising Hong Kong’s lacklustre planning of the electrification of public transportation and insufficient funding for the roadmap.

Joined by the NGO Clean Air Network and Hong Kong 2050 Is Now, an initiative advocating for net-zero emissions, Civic Exchange calls for more sufficient planning in the electrification of the vehicular fleet in Hong Kong:

“Hong Kong neither has a clear timeline and clear fleet development targets of phasing in zero emission buses, nor is there currently a holistic policy to provide financial support to cover the capital cost gap of purchasing EVs and to build necessary charging infrastructure,” the statement says.

In contrast, Singapore pledged to electrify its entire bus fleet by 2040 and South Korea plans to have 3,000 electric buses (40 percent of total) in service by 2025.

The statement also addresses current obstacles with transitioning to electric public transportation. This includes infrastructural challenges, such as limited land and space for charging infrastructure required for battery-electric buses, and high cost of implementation, as start-up costs of a battery-electric bus are estimated to be about twice that of a comparable diesel bus.

The organisations recommend the government to establish targets and action plans to achieve the electrification of fleet vehicles. This includes a goal to electrify all public transport and commercial vehicles including buses, minibuses and taxis, and an EV Action Plan to set up policy visions and targets.

“Electrification of the vehicular fleet must proceed in well-planned steps, and thus the HKSAR Government needs to set ambitious goals in the EV Roadmap to accelerate the transformation of road transport to ultimately reach zero emissions,” the statement concludes.

The full statement can be read here.

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