MyCar is Hong Kong's first home-grown electric car thanks to a joint venture between Polytechnic University and EuAuto Technology. It is tiny, smaller in every dimension than a Smart ForTwo, so cute it's almost toy-like, perhaps something Postman Pat would dream of driving on his days off. Motoring around Kowloon, just about every other vehicle seemed intimidatingly big. After a while, the upside of this smallness becomes apparent - it can go through gaps that only a motorcyclist would consider, and parking is a doddle, enhanced by its 3.9 metre turning circle. There are no gears to change. The floor-mounted gear stick acts as a switch between forward and reverse. Press the accelerator and there is no feeling of acceleration, just a gradual gathering of momentum to beyond pedestrian speed. However, it soon becomes clear that in Hung Hom's busy streets, the MyCar is in its element. Anything faster would be unnecessary. But fast is not an adjective applicable to the MyCar - although it has a claimed top speed of 64 km/h, by law it must stick to roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less. And the 3.7 kW (5 bhp) motor is unable to get the MyCar up to anything more than a 20 per cent (1 in 5) gradient. So going up Garden Road is out of the question, as is accessing Mid-Levels or above. Despite having all-round independent suspension, the ride is choppy, hardly surprising with a wheelbase not much longer than that of a supermarket trolley. Roadholding is not a factor as the MyCar doesn't go fast enough, but the appeal of the MyCar not its performance or roadholding, it's that it is locally non-polluting and extremely economical to run. Some will say that electric cars are just as polluting as petrol-powered cars as the energy for both comes from fossil fuels. However, unlike conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles, electric vehicles can use power generated from renewable resources such as tidal, solar and wind energy. If a magic wand is waved and all Hong Kong's vehicles are transformed to electricity-powered overnight, air pollution in the city will practically disappear. In terms of energy economy, it takes 17.6 electrical units to recharge the MyCar's batteries. With Kowloon-side electricity costing 88 HK cents a unit, the MyCar needs just over HK$15 for a refill that will take it as far as 100 kilometres. A litre of petrol costs around HK$14, so the MyCar is capable of the equivalent of about 90 kilometres per litre. Island-side electricity is more expensive, so the figures change accordingly, but there's no escaping the fact that the MyCar is the most economical vehicle on Hong Kong's roads. The main problem with all electric cars is the range. The MyCar's maximum range of 100 kilometres could be much less, depending on the way it is driven or the steepness of the hills encountered. The major challenge for any electric vehicle manufacturer is finding the economic balance of range against performance, battery capacity versus weight, and battery type versus cost. Apart from some recent private sector initiatives to establish car park charging stations, Hong Kong has no infrastructure to support the use of electric vehicles. Although the MyCar can be recharged from a standard 13A socket, few motorists have access to electricity points where they park. Having charging stations seems to be a sensible approach, and will hopefully encourage greater ownership of electric vehicles. The standard MyCar costs HK$97,000. An upgraded lithium battery version, offering a longer range and an air conditioner, costs HK$50,000 more. As part of the government's promotion of eco-friendly vehicles, no first registration tax is payable, and the annual licence fee is only HK$440.