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Petition: Demand for Amending the "1-for-1 Replacement" Scheme for private electric vehicles

lx3h

Charged.hk's Director of Education
Jan 3, 2014
1,330
34
Hong Kong SAR China

Exiom

Member
Nov 29, 2017
206
111
Hong Kong
I personally think the restrictions are fine the way it is... because...

The Goal is "We want current ICE car owners to switch to EVs."

So we actually don't want new "2nd hand ICE" owners to buy cars just to be scrapped a year later, which would otherwise be scrapped organically anyway. Firstly, the goal is not to encourage people to buy cars, this is where the first FRT-free system failed. It encouraged a lot of people to buy an EV, which zero-emissions or not, contributes to further congestions.

The current restrictions achieves 2 things,
It allows current owners to trade up for environmentally counterparts, thus does not change the status-quo.
It allows for older cars to be scrapped organically and reliefs congestion problem.

Hong Kong is a unique place and has very unique circumstances. Not only do we want 1 less ICE on the road, we also want 1 less car on the road. Cars are a luxury for a place like Hong Kong and it should be. The argument of cars should be accessible to the less wealthy does not apply to Hong Kong. This is why we have FRT, it is to discourage owning of cars.

So, I think what we really should be petitioning for is that they should increase the FRT for ICE cars instead, which will further push buyers to EVs.
 

Mille Pun

Member
Jun 21, 2015
135
7
HK
FRT in HK is super very extremely high (~100% or more) in any measurement on earth. Personally I don’t think it should further increased as it will just push the right to buy a new car to the wealthy, and less-wealthy people who need a car can only turn to the used car market, where net-net, the car on the road do not reduced. But average age of cars on road will be older, ie. more pollution.

I don’t have problem with people buying 2nd cars, given the fact that 1 person can drive <=1 car at a time. We should charge the user but not the buyer. And the gov should turn their focus to electronic road toll, to charger the user at peak hours.

However, I cannot support this demand as well. My thought is the tax-credit after someone who scraped a old car, has to be transferable (conditions can be workout, 1 year ownership is still too long. I admit that may have some slight stimulation to the used car market, but what is the problem on it?). The full picture is, when someone scraped a eligible gasoline car, that should be replaced by a new EV, no matter who is the buyer.
 

Exiom

Member
Nov 29, 2017
206
111
Hong Kong
when someone scraped a eligible gasoline car, that should be replaced by a new EV, no matter who is the buyer.

I don't agree. There is no reason an ICE car "should" be replaced by a new EV. It defeats the purpose of the entire scheme of having less cars on the road.

FRT is high and as it should be, because HK has one of the most if not the most extensive public transport systems. Besides, raising FRT on ICE vehicles has no conflict on EVs and will only further push ICE buyers to consider EVs.
 

markwj

Asia Pacific
Moderator
Apr 10, 2011
4,637
1,308
Hong Kong
The Goal is "We want current ICE car owners to switch to EVs."

To me, the goal is "new vehicle purchasers should choose an EV vs ICE"; we want to encourage new cars on the roads to be EVs not polluting ICE. The 1-for-1 scrapping scheme addresses a (imho very small) segment of that market by providing incentives for those scrapping old cars at the same time as buying a new replacement.

So we actually don't want new "2nd hand ICE" owners to buy cars just to be scrapped a year later, which would otherwise be scrapped organically anyway.

Sure, if the requirement was 1 week I would see your point. But, 1 year vs 3 years still makes it unattractive to buy an old ICE, garage it for a year, service it, get it through annual government roadworthiness test, license it, insure it, etc. All the 3 years does is limit the number of existing owners who can benefit from this scheme.

Firstly, the goal is not to encourage people to buy cars, this is where the first FRT-free system failed. It encouraged a lot of people to buy an EV, which zero-emissions or not, contributes to further congestions.

No it didn't. The figures CLEARLY show that the rapid increase in adoption of EVs, from 2014 or so, had ZERO impact on the overall growth rate of the private car fleet. After last year's policy change, the number of new EVs dropped dramatically, and the number of new ICE increased correspondingly (including a dramatic increase in the number of new diesel cars on the road).

If the FRT exemption had caused an increase in the number of cars, we would have seen that increase drop off after the cap was imposed. We didn't. All we saw was a switch back to buying petrol and diesel cars.

Sadly, the growth rate in private car fleet has remained largely unchanged for the past decade. Even the increase in FRT back in 2011 hardly caused a blip in the graph.

The current restrictions achieves 2 things, It allows current owners to trade up for environmentally counterparts, thus does not change the status-quo. It allows for older cars to be scrapped organically and reliefs congestion problem.

Do we really think that an owner of a 15+ year old car ready to be scrapped is in the market for a brand new vehicle, of any type?

What about people who already own an EV and are in accidents? What about people who've owned an ICE for 2 1/2 years? etc etc.

Hong Kong is a unique place and has very unique circumstances. Not only do we want 1 less ICE on the road, we also want 1 less car on the road. Cars are a luxury for a place like Hong Kong and it should be. The argument of cars should be accessible to the less wealthy does not apply to Hong Kong. This is why we have FRT, it is to discourage owning of cars. So, I think what we really should be petitioning for is that they should increase the FRT for ICE cars instead, which will further push buyers to EVs.

And I feel for the people who live in the New Territories and have no access to the fantastic public transportation system. These people are being taxed 115% on something that is to them far from a luxury for the wealthy. Many car owners simply have no access to charging facilities (without legislative support, their buildings owners committees / management refuse to permit the installation) and cannot choose an EV.

I am unsure how to balance that, with increasing the FRT on ICE. It simply seems simpler to reduce FRT on EVs.
 

markwj

Asia Pacific
Moderator
Apr 10, 2011
4,637
1,308
Hong Kong
However, I cannot support this demand as well. My thought is the tax-credit after someone who scraped a old car, has to be transferable (conditions can be workout, 1 year ownership is still too long. I admit that may have some slight stimulation to the used car market, but what is the problem on it?). The full picture is, when someone scraped a eligible gasoline car, that should be replaced by a new EV, no matter who is the buyer.

I agree. But, I realistically don't think the government will simply allow old cars to be scrapped to be flipped. That will just game the system.

So, the proposal to reduce the 3 years to something less restrictive is workable and gets my support.

The metric on this will always be the number of EVs vs ICE coming onto the market. I suspect that with a 3 year restriction, there will not be much of a change from the dismal record of the past twelve months. A 1 year restriction will be better. Only time will tell if either is enough to make a difference.
 

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