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EV Sales Slump In Hong Kong, After Subsidies Withdrawn

February 6, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Another reminder that EVs cannot compete without govt subsidies:



Data from Hong Kong´s Transport Department shows Tesla sales fell to just 32 between April and December 2017, a dramatic decline from the near 2,000 sales notched up over the same period of 2016.

The removal of tax incentives in Hong Kong almost doubled the price of some Tesla models.


A major blow for Tesla, it underlines how the company´s sales can be highly sensitive to changes in government policy.

There was also a similar fall in electric car sales in Denmark following the local authorities´ decision to end tax breaks.

Tesla shares were down 1.3% in pre-market trading on Monday.


Tesla is lobbying the Hong Kong authorities to at least partially reverse the tax change.

The sheer scale of the sales slump is likely to have come as a surprise to the government, strengthening the hand of those supporting a rethink when it finalises its budget in the next few weeks.

In total, including non-Tesla models, just 99 electric cars were registered in Hong Kong over the last nine months of 2017.

  1. February 6, 2018 3:41 pm

    “…it underlines how the company´s sales can be highly sensitive to changes in government policy…Tesla is lobbying the Hong Kong authorities…”

    Nose firmly in trough. A parasite.

  2. February 6, 2018 3:43 pm

    When will these folks figure out that their batteries are charged by electricity generated by coal and not solar or wind?

    Several years ago, with Obama’s war on coal, there was a bumper sticker in West Virginia: “Like your electric car? Thank a coal miner.”

  3. February 6, 2018 4:46 pm

    Only wealthy people can afford these EVs. Take away the subsidies and even the wealthy don’t want the inconvenience and disadvantages of them. At least poor people won’t be subsidising wealthy EV owners any more.

  4. Philip Foster (Revd) permalink
    February 6, 2018 4:47 pm

    Tesla Battery weight = 800kg for 200 miles = like having ten passengers on board throughout
    Coal required for one charge = 40kg
    equiv. weight of fuel for petrol vehicle = 20kg (diminishing)

    I heard a clown at the London Energy Institute inform us that in 20 years we’ll have electric aeroplanes. Hmmm
    Take a Boeing Dreamliner. Total weight at takeoff about 500 ton of which 200 ton is kerosene.
    The electric battery required to achieve take off would weigh 10,000 ton, which in turn needs to be got off the ground needing a battery weighing 200,000 ton which in turn…

    I despair.

    • Athelstan permalink
      February 6, 2018 5:43 pm

      If they make the plane out of balsa and use a rubber band, forego all the cockpit navigation aids, use legs for takeoff – who needs electric?

      • roger permalink
        February 6, 2018 10:34 pm

        Bring back Frog kits of the 1950’s!!

    • dennisambler permalink
      February 7, 2018 10:15 am

      I was disappointed that his Space ship isn’t battery powered…

  5. markl permalink
    February 6, 2018 4:50 pm

    So once the bribing stops so do the sales. Imagine that. I bet this really bothers the people who can’t even afford a car much less an electric one. Think of all the mass transit these “incentives” could have paid for.

    • Athelstan permalink
      February 6, 2018 5:49 pm

      It also should bother our very own bonkers PM, chancellor and indeed the whole ‘green’ UK administration – who’ve notably told us “you’re going electric vheicles, whether you want it or not”.

      Come the revolution brother, everyone will be drivining electric – even if it bankrupts the nation in the meantime…………did I say “bankrupt”?? Well hello there – ooops we already are gone bankrupt in terms of: cognitive ability, morally, financially, literally and with a lady called common sense she was booted out of the window a very long time ago.

  6. Bitter@twisted permalink
    February 6, 2018 5:55 pm

    Is Enron Musk’s luck starting to run out?
    We can only hope.

  7. Stonyground permalink
    February 6, 2018 7:55 pm

    As a kind of thought experiment, what would happen if the government decided that it would stump up half the purchase price of a regular modern car, say something like a Ford Focus? How many FFs would we see on the roads if the price of them was halved due to a government subsidy?

  8. HotScot permalink
    February 7, 2018 12:21 am

    EV’s are a great idea. But until battery technology advances considerably, they are a non starter.

    The UK government has pinned it’s hopes on technology advance, but I’m afraid manufacturers are far more realistic else they wouldn’t still be selling ‘dirty’ diesels.

    And as I’m one of the 40% or so Brits that doesn’t have a drive, I’ll be sticking with an IC engined car for the rest of my days.

    I would like an EV, but the whole of the UK will have to be redesigned to include their wholesale adoption. That’s not going to happen before 2040.

    • HotScot permalink
      February 7, 2018 12:31 am

      PS – nor do I like the idea of my EV city vehicles emissions being exported to rural areas where most power stations reside.

      To my knowledge, there is not one major power station in London, yet the whole country is made to dance to its tune.

      NIMBY’s, of course.

      • John Palmer permalink
        February 7, 2018 8:54 pm

        Quite so!

  9. February 7, 2018 5:38 pm

    I know this might be out of left field, but maybe these new experimental technologies should be supported by private investors instead of the government subsidies. Then when it makes the big bucks, the shareholders win! The country wins! Or, if things don’t work, the government deficit is not worsened. More than that, it would help limit technology from being politicized and used for partisan machinations.

  10. A C Osborn permalink
    February 8, 2018 2:56 pm

    Paul, Tesla takes a big hit today, announcing losses of $675.4Million (£487Million) in the last quarter of 2017.
    But things are looking up because Revenue was up $3.29Billion.

    If more countries cancel Subsidies I can see them being broke by 2019.

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