HKPC Developing EV Charger Reservation System Tailored For Hong Kong

JUN 30 2015 BY ALEX WAI 3

HKPC Dr Lawrence Cheung and Mr. Daniel Siu

HKPC – Mr. Daniel Siu (Left) and Dr. Lawrence Cheung (Right) (A.Wai)

Unlike some countries or cities, Hong Kong’s unique geography is a natural fit for electric vehicles. But it also has its own unique set of problems experienced by current EV owners and charging facilities providers. I had a chance to speak with Dr. Lawrence Cheung who is the General Manager, APAS of HKPC (Hong Kong Productivity Council), to share his views.

Dr. Cheung explains that technical challenges have always been the easy part for their R&D team. The obstacles in deploying their solutions are support from the general public, businesses and local regulations/policies. Parking facilities developers or owners often don’t find the incentive in deploying charging facilities, not to mention limited space and power capacity requiring upgrade.

His team is developing a total solution package for business wanting to provide EV charging as value added service or purely for revenue generation. When deployed throughout the city, EV drivers can use a smartphone app to check for station availability status, nearest charging facility compatible to the vehicle AND allow charging reservation. Once a charging space is booked the app generates a barcode or similar on their smartphone. When the driver arrives at that location the barcode needs to be scanned by the charging unit to verify the EV driver before the charging is activated. If the drivers does not arrive before a certain time the space will be released to other EV drivers for immediate use or open for booking.

The charger also has an embedded payment feature that can support Octopus Card (a popular virtual cash system in Hong Kong accepted by most retail business, public transport, parking meter and garages) or a similar system on the market. The solution hopes to encourage more businesses to deploy charging station at their parking facilities.

Tesla CHAdeMO adapter

HKPC completed testing the Tesla CHAdeMO adapter (Photo via Tesla)

HKPC has also recently received CHAdeMO certification for one of their combo charger projects headed by Mr Daniel Siu, Engineering Manager, APAS R&D center. He himself had spent weeks in Japan fine tuning the handshaking process before receiving their final approval. Dr. Cheung explains chargers that have not been certified could cause EV’s internal mechanism to drop connection to protect itself before charging is completed.

Also under development, a private firm requiring the need of mobile EV charger solution. Once completed it could be used to charge EV fleets or service vehicle at the airport terminal. Their department also does testing work for other government departments and one of the recent project is to test Tesla’s CHAdeMO adapter before being certified for local use. The test has been completed and the remaining process is likely the final paper work before local release.

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3 Comments on "HKPC Developing EV Charger Reservation System Tailored For Hong Kong"

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Alex, thanks for this article! But I wish you’d expand on some of the statements. “Unlike some countries or cities, Hong Kong’s unique geography is a natural fit for electric vehicles.” Okay, why? I find this at Wikipedia: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Hong Kong mainland China driving scheme (Chinese: 自駕遊計畫) is a cross-border driving scheme which allows drivers of cars with primary registration in mainland China to drive directly to Hong Kong. Currently, mainland cars have the driver seat on the left, while HK cars have driver seat on the right. Historically HK was a British colony before 1997, and adapted driving on the same side of the road as the British. While Hong Kong is a party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the PRC is not a party to the convention. As a result prior to the introduction of this pilot scheme, Hong Kong vehicles have to apply for PRC’s registration number plates to cross the border, and vice versa. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [end quote] So if I understand it correctly, then Hong Kong, like Israel, is an “island” as far as passenger vehicle traffic goes. With so little cross-border traffic, most EVs won’t have far to go on any given… Read more »

Author Alex Wai wrote:

“Parking facilities developers or owners often don’t find the incentive in deploying charging facilities, not to mention limited space and power capacity requiring upgrade.”

What system is used for electricity distribution in China and Hong Kong? Do they have something similar to 1-phase, 2-phase, and 3-phase power, with 110 volt, 220 volt, and 440 volt, as here in the USA?

Is it more difficult, strictly from the perspective of electrical engineering, to install the equivalent of a Level 2 charger, or a DC fast charger, in Hong Kong or China? More difficult than in the USA, Europe, or British Commonwealth countries? (Of course, it hasn’t been that long since Hong Kong was a B.C. region.)

I know there are various regulatory barriers to installing an EV charger in China, but I’d like to learn more about the subject.

Power in Hong Kong is most similar to Europe. The voltage is slightly lower though. It is 220VAC single phase 380VAC 3-phase while Europe is 230/400VAC. Domestic sockets use the British BS1363 plug.

I believe that Tesla has used boost transformers for their superchargers in Hong Kong to bring the voltage up to the 277/480VAC that is typical in the US for these high power loads.