The European Chamber of Commerce Automotive Council (EAC) released its 2018 position paper

Representing the European passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturers in Hong Kong, the Council aims to bring forward proposals and be a partner to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

In this annual position paper, the EAC focused on the following topics:

  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Public Light Buses
  • Utilisation of Heavy Vehicles
  • Attracting Talent in Hong Kong
  • Vehicle Registration Data
  • Future Trends of the Automotive Industry
 

With this position paper, the EAC would like to submit the following recommendations for the attention of the Government of Hong Kong.

Sustainable mobility plays a key role in enhancing Hong Kong’s results in reducing air pollutant emissions and promoting environmentally friendlier vehicles. In this regard, the EAC suggests further measures should be taken. First, the promotion of plug-in hybrid vehicles by utilising relevant incentives, can significantly contribute to the transition to electro-mobility. Second, the upgrade of charging stations requires further incentives to enjoy the benefits of off-peak charging. Third, the Government’sgreen agenda should include steps to reduce total emissions of the heavy commercial vehicle fleet through an holistic approach including increased efficiency (see below), encouraging the use of alternative sustainable fuels and scrapping of older vehicles. Fourth, due to the increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) in Hong Kong, there is an urgent need to improve the waste battery handling. Finally, the EAC strongly encourages the Hong Kong Government to review the parameters for the qualifying standards within its Environmentally Friendly Vehicle Scheme.

Public light buses (PLB) represent a category of vehicles in Hong Kong where the EAC can positively contribute. In fact, by allowing exemptions (i.e. length restriction) for the latest European minibuses complying with the Euro VI standard, the Government could introduce safer and more environmentally friendly minibuses to the Hong Kong PLB market.

The efficient utilization of heavy vehicles is an issue that requires the attention of the Government. Recent trends are for larger numbers of articles being transported with decreasing density and higher volumes. The EAC believes that allowing the circulation of larger trucks while reviewing the weight regulations for those trucks operating at their current legal weight limits will result in a reduction of trucks on the road, a reduction of fuel consumption per tonne.km, less traffic congestion and less air pollution.

The current shortage of manual labour is a clear signal that attracting talent in Hong Kong is a primary need. While the Vocational Education Training (VET) Programsdemonstrate the Government’s awareness of this issue, the EAC nonetheless suggests to raise the status of these workers, as well as to increase the labour market competitiveness by looking at other national examples (e.g. Mainland China) and to adopt best practices from the European vocational education systems (e.g. Germany).

The Hong Kong Transport Department has achieved significant improvements in terms of access to up-to-date vehicle registration data. However, to fully benefit from this service, the EAC suggests the monthly publication of a more processed dataset of vehicles registrations.

Finally, the EAC would like to draw the attention of the Hong Kong Government to the future trends of the automotive industry. First, opening up data access for the automotive industry is a key step that will not only provide a roadmap to the stakeholders seeking improvement on the future of mobility, but it will offer the opportunity for Hong Kong to be a leader in the connected vehicles market. Second, granting access to data for Intelligent Transport System is necessary in order to achieve the possibility to introduce connected vehicles in Hong Kong; real-time traffic information and on-street smart parking meters should be at the top of the agenda. Third, an improved vehicle-to-infrastructure communication by using in-vehicle displays represents a safe and environmentally friendly solution to improve the current traffic situation as well as to reduce air pollution. Fourth, owners of public car parks must be willing to share their information on parking vacancy with the government. Fifth, in order to provide the legal framework relating to autonomous vehicle pilots in Hong Kong, a review of the Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) is of primary importance.


To download the EAC position paper, click here.

For more information, please contact EuroCham’s General Manager, Núria Sau (nuria.sau@eurocham.com.hk)