Tesla to reduce Hong Kong operations if city refuses to promote electric cars

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U.S. electric car maker Tesla is ­prepared to reduce its Hong Kong operations if the government fails to give residents incentives to buy battery-powered cars in its ­upcoming budget, a source close to the company told the Post.

The source said Tesla, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, had written to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor asking her to rethink last year’s ­removal of a full registration tax waiver on electric cars for private use. The move resulted in buyers paying as much as 80 per cent more for high-end models.

With the tax waiver capped at HK$97,500 from April 1 last year, sales of electric cars nosedived. Only 99 new cars were registered from April to December last year, compared with 2,078 in the same period the year before.

Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said the chamber was “puzzled” by the policy change.

“Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she wants to attract leading global tech firms to Hong Kong, but green technology companies, like all companies, require policy transparency and assurance,” she said.

Read more at SCMP

Related: Has Hong Kong pulled the plug on electric cars?