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Second Pact To Push Electric-vehicle Use

Fanny W. Y. Fung – Apr 23, 2009

The government will today sign a memorandum with a second Japanese car manufacturer to promote the use of electric vehicles in Hong Kong, as part of its clean-air initiatives in the budget.

The news was announced by Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah yesterday as he appealed to legislators to support the budget. “Not only can the extensive use of clean transportation improve roadside air quality, but it can also give rise to the birth of an electric- vehicle accessory industry,” he said.

Mr Yau would arrive in Tokyo tonight to meet representatives of three car companies, an Environment Bureau spokeswoman said.

One of the companies is Mitsubishi, with which the government signed a memorandum in February. Mr Yau would take a ride in an i MiEV car, a four-seater powered by a lithium-ion battery.

One will arrive in Hong Kong next month for government departments to test its performance.

The minister would sign a memorandum with another company tomorrow, with details yet to be announced, and meet a third company to discuss electric vehicles, the spokeswoman said.

Mr Yau said the moves would help develop an electric-car market in Hong Kong. The government would continue to discuss with the business sector provision of battery-charging facilities and other infrastructure.

He is to leave Japan on Sunday to visit the Canadian cities of Toronto and Ottawa, and Washington and Boston in the US for talks on other environment-related issues before ending his tour on May 1.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah announced in his recent budget a five-year extension of the registration-tax waiver for electric vehicles, to March 2014.

A committee headed by Mr Tsang is to study problems relating to the introduction of the vehicles.

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