Smart Charge service provides electric vehicle owners with hassle-free and comprehensive home-charging solution
- Number of green cars in Hong Kong is expected to rise rapidly with deliveries from Q4 onwards, putting strain on existing public charging facilities
There’s no doubt technology is the driving force of the 21st century. But all devices, be they smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches or the new generation of cars, require electricity: charging stations have become critical to maintaining connectivity.
As the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the city continues apace, Smart Charge (a joint venture formed by HKT and CLP) is bringing EV-charging solutions right to customers’ doorsteps. Charging your car at home will be as simple as plugging it in.
“Technology is changing our lifestyles,” said Ringo Ng, Managing Director of HKT’s Consumer Group and Smart Charge. “Today, we charge our smartphones, tablets and other smart devices once we arrive home. EV drivers and owners should enjoy the same luxury, too, with their cars, instead of having to queue for EV public charging after a long day of work.”
There has been a drive by the HKSAR government to increase the use of EVs in the city, with tax concessions for private EVs and the introduction of battery-electric public buses. The hope is that without exhaust emissions, roadside air quality will improve, matched by a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, all the while encouraging the development of associated environmentally friendly industries.
According to figures from the Environmental Protection Department, at the end of June this year there were 11,942 EVs on Hong Kong’s roads, up from fewer than 100 in 2010. There are currently 2,308 EV chargers available for public use across Hong Kong, but with the number of EVs in the city expected to grow rapidly with deliveries scheduled for Q4 2019 onwards, EV owners will need more comprehensive solutions for their charging needs.
Depending on the size of the battery, the time it takes to charge an electric car can take from as little as 30 minutes to up to 12 hours, so being able to charge your car at home has major advantages.
“We are all tired after work and want to go home to relax, instead of queuing in congested areas to get our cars charged,” Ringo said. “Smart Charge service means that you don’t waste time and can spend it with family and friends.”
Setting up a charging station is also a lot easier: instead of having to process individual requests for charger installations, Smart Charge can help by directly contacting the relevant Building Management Office (BMO) to propose a complete charging solution on a property level, negotiate with the Incorporated Owners’ Committee (IOC) of the housing estate, and arrange site inspections to tailor the charging to the size and needs of the car parking facility.
“This is particularly useful because one resident alone might not have sufficient lobbying power – and lobbying can be time-consuming,” Ringo said. “We can ensure better bargaining power and more efficient negotiations with housing estates, and we can come up with a plan that benefits all residents and the BMO.”
To make the process even easier, Smart Charge’s one-stop solution includes management, installation, maintenance, insurance and efficient after-sales service, with no extra manpower needed from the BMO – yet another advantage. Car owners simply choose a suitable monthly plan and a dedicated team will then handle the application and installation process from start to finish.
This, according to Smart Charge, is what makes its service a cut above the rest. Quality assurance is guaranteed thanks to a reliable partnership between the two major companies involved. Qualified electricians take care of installation to ensure chargers meet the highest safety standards, are waterproof, dust-resistant and connected with low-smoke zero-halogen cables which are less prone to risks compared to conventional cabling.
There’s more good news. Smart Charge service does not simply end after installation. Customers receive quarterly health checks for the charger, as recommended by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Departments. Charger-maintenance issues are also taken care of.
What’s more, users needn’t worry about their chargers breaking down, because Smart Charge provides a 24/7 care service to enable assistance anytime, anywhere.
‘Smart Charge is helping EV customers to lead a hassle-free life,” Ringo concluded.