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Hong Kong air pollution

The two new e-vehicles designed to cut pollution on Hong Kong’s roads

Prototype 53-seater coach and 16-tonne truck on display for first time at 12th Eco Expo Asia on Lantau Island

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 October, 2017, 11:47am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 October, 2017, 2:12pm

Two battery-powered heavy vehicles developed in and for Hong Kong are about to hit the roads to help reduce the city’s notorious roadside emissions and noise pollution.

The two prototypes – a 53-seater coach and a 16-tonne truck – were on display for the first time at the 12th Eco Expo Asia, which opened on Thursday at AsiaWorld-Expo on Lantau Island.

They could potentially join the variety of electric vehicles on Hong Kong’s roads, most of which are private cars – 10,361, compared to 231 others such as taxis, buses, minibuses and light goods vehicles.

In a first for Hong Kong, the 12-metre passenger coach was designed, developed and assembled in the city by Green Mobility Innovations, the only certified local carmaker to date.

To overcome the range limit of battery power – 40km on a full charge – a diesel generator was added to recharge the battery on the go.

The firm’s managing director, Lo Chee-pui, said the generator runs for one-third of the time that the vehicle is running, drastically reducing emissions.

The lithium-titanate battery, meanwhile, is designed for more than 10,000 charges.

“I’m sure the battery will still be running strong by the time the vehicle retires in 15 years,” Lo said.

While the coach’s development cost $HK9.5 million – half of which came from the government’s Innovation and Technology matching fund – Lo said the vehicle should have a price tag of about HK$3 million, roughly 30 per cent more expensive than its diesel variant.

For environment watchers not satisfied with the hybrid coach’s reduced emissions, the 16-tonne pure electric truck by green company E.Tech Dynamic Technology boasts zero roadside emissions and can stay on the road for 200km each charge, which takes less than two hours.

Director Susanna Ng said the truck was specifically designed for Hong Kong’s roads.

“It can climb steep gradients of up to 20 per cent … The completely quiet motor means it also would not disturb residents while going through the neighbourhood,” she said.

Put electric vehicle goal back on track

The vehicle is currently assembled at a plant in Qingdao, Shandong province, in mainland China, and costs HK$2 million.

There is only one catch: the truck needs to pass a series of tests and accreditations before it is roadworthy, a process which takes up to 10 months.

The two heavy e-vehicles were developed with the help of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, which runs a research and development centre for automotive parts and accessory systems.