Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says Hong Kong Is A “Beacon City” For Electric Cars
Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited Hong Kong in part to usher in the Tesla-era in the city (our own Alex Wai attended that event – details/video).
Prior to Tesla’s arrival in Hong Kong, cumulative electric car sales were in the hundreds. But since the Model S’ arrival, sales shot through the roof with some 3,000 electric cars registered by October 2015 and more than 4,500 registered by the end of January 2016.
Most of the electric cars on Hong Kong’s roads are Tesla’s (2,000 sold in 2015 alone) and that’s perhaps what prompted Musk to state the following during his visit:
Musk called Hong Kong a “beacon city for electric vehicles” that could “serve as an example to the rest of the world on what to do.”
Hong Kong’s population density is so high and it’s public transport so well thought out that few residents own private cars. Furthermore, there are significant fees placed on purchasing private ICE cars. These fees are in place to restrict usage and control pollution. However, electric cars aren’t subjected to these fees, making them desirable.
The only real problem in Hong Kong is lack of residential charging (most residents live in multi-unit housing). Tesla can’t solve the residential charging issue, but the automaker has worked to install free public charging throughout the city. Hong Kong currently has 1,300 public chargers, or 1 for every ~4 electric cars on its roads and those chargers are spaced out by no more than 13 miles.
The Guardian adds:
“As of July last year, Hong Kong had the highest density of Tesla superchargers in the world, but drivers in Hong Kong say that is still insufficient. Hong Kong’s public charging stations (which include the Tesla ones) are mostly made up of slow chargers, which may take several hours to fully charge a vehicle’s battery. Of the 1,300 stations available, only 200 are medium chargers and 157 are quick chargers.”
But still, with only 31 square miles of land, Hong Kong basically has a charger right around the next corner, which can’t be said of places like the U.S. where the nearest public charger could be hundreds of miles away.
Source: The Guardian