Station cuts hours off time to recharge electric cars
The first made-in-Hong Kong charging station for electric vehicles has been unveiled, with its makers claiming it can recharge a suitable car in as little as 35 minutes.
That is much less than the six to eight hours required at stations already installed in the city.
As well as being faster it will also be cheaper than the ones now in use, which cost up to HK$300,000, the maker says, although it did not give details on the amount saved.
The charging station was developed by Hong Kong Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems (APAS), a subsidiary of the government's Innovation and Technology Commission.
It says the product, which it calls the Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Station, will be able to fully charge a 16 kilowatt vehicle battery in 35 minutes on its highest setting.
But engineering manager Daniel Siu Hang-chuen said the actual times would vary according to the vehicle model.
For example, MyCar, the first Hong Kong-made electric car, would take about two hours,
The project was launched in collaboration with ITE Smartcard Solutions which devised a payment system using the Octopus card.
The development cost was about HK$1.4 million, of which 60 per cent came from the government's Innovation and Technology Fund and the rest from ITE Smartcard.
The system offers fast charging, semi-fast charging, and charging with the typically slow 13A outlet, which is used by the 134 free-charging stations installed at 34 car parks.
Fast charging permits a compatible electric car to be charged in about 35 minutes, while the semi-fast option takes about two hours at best.
The charging system also features a simple user interface where owners swipe their Hong Kong Octopus card, Macau Pass or other customised e-payment card against the terminal. All owners have to do is plug the wire into the electric car and swipe the card against the terminal again at the end.
Vincent Lau Hon-kong, executive director of ITES has big plans for the charging station
'The completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will bring countless opportunities and we are looking to install our charging stations in Macau,' he said.
Siu was also optimistic.
'Japan made-charging stations cost around HK$300,000. The price of our stations will definitely be lower. Several car parks have already sent us inquiries.'
A spokesman for Hongkong Electric said: 'Our purchase of a suitable charging system ultimately depends on our evaluation of potential products. We may consider the local product if we find it attractive.'
However, Siu is unsure when the new charging stations will go on the market.
They are expected to be used in a trial phase at government car parks first.
The energy efficiency of electric cars, as opposed to the 15 to 20 per cent of petrol cars, CLP Power says