Make it easier for people to buy and use electric cars

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 May, 2010, 12:00am

Mitsubishi's four-seater i-MiEV electric car can now be bought here ('Mitsubishi launches its electric 'bubble' car for sale in Hong Kong', May 21).

Over the past few years, more attention has been paid throughout the world to the effects of global warming. So often we turn a blind eye to this problem, preferring to stick to our own selfish lifestyles.

This mindset needs to change and we need to act without delay, not just for ourselves but for future generations. While I welcome the launch of the Mitsubishi car on the local market, I have some concerns.

There are only 37 charging stations around Hong Kong.

Some potential buyers have said they are concerned that they may not be able to find a station when the battery needs recharging.

It is up to the government to ensure there are more recharging points. I would like to see them become as common a sight around Hong Kong as a petrol station. Although the car is not too expensive (HK$395,000), the administration should still offer subsidies to people interested in purchasing them.

This would enable more people to buy the vehicles, including middle-income families.

A system of government subsidies would be a worthwhile investment on the part of the administration since, with more electric cars on the roads, emissions of carbon dioxide would drop.

Also, once owners got used to the electric vehicle, they might recommend it to colleagues and relatives, and this could also boost sales.

Basically, citizens from all walks of life and from different levels of society have a shared responsibility to try to curb the deteriorating quality of our air.

We can no longer shirk our responsibilities when it comes to the environment because, if we ignore the problem, we will all suffer.

Siu Leung-wing, Shau Kei Wan