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Tesla Motors Urges Hong Kong Government To Extend Tax Breaks On EVs

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Tesla’s Jon McNeil demands the government to keep tax breaks on EVs alive, as the company prepares new products

Earlier this year, The Country Caller published an article explaining why Hong Kong is a “beacon city” for the Model S sedan and Superchargerof Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), rather than just a beacon city for electric vehicle (EVs), like CEO Elon Musk claimed. However, things could change after tax breaks on EVs that have been really valuable to Tesla in becoming the market leader in the city will expire on March 2017.

Nevertheless, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Tesla has demanded the federal government to keep the tax breaks alive, as the company plans to introduce new products, such as the new solar roofs and Powerwall 2.0, into Hong Kong. Tesla President of Global Sales and Services, Jon McNeil, told the publication that the automaker is in talks with the government to extend the existing “first registration tax waivers” for EVs. He said the a similar decision was taken in Denmark last year to end tax breaks on battery-powered cars which has discouraged customers from buying EVs, leading to massive drops in registrations.

“We’re really in discussion with the government. We hope that Hong Kong does not turn into an example like Denmark where all e-vehicle sales basically dried up to zero,” Mr. McNeil said. Conversely, the company is persuading the government and utilities to enable charging stations in every housing estate in the city to make charging EVs as easy as smartphone charging. He added that the deliveries of the Model 3 sedan would start by the end of 2017, with Model X deliveries starting early next year.

However, a Tesla spokesperson later cleared that Model X deliveries in Hong Kong will start later in 2017 because it is a right-hand drive country. While explaining that EVs have improved the city’s safety and air quality, he said that customers can now pre-order the newly unveiled solar roof and Powerwall 2.0, which costs $5,500 (HKD 42,651).

Both the products will likely hit the market next year as well. The spokesperson, however, said that the company has no plans for offering the product in the country, but the customers could inquiry about the product on Tesla website and its staff will give additional updates in the future. Although it is difficult to get install a solar energy system in Hong Kong due to strict regulations, Tesla solar roofs might find it easier to gain regulatory approval, as they would not destroy a roof’s aesthetic.

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