Promote the Usage of Electric Buses
Launched: 10 April 2019
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Over the last few years, Hong Kong has seen a decline in air pollution however the quality of the air is still not up to par. Studies have proven that air pollution can cause a variety of diseases and can even cause cancer. The people who are particularly susceptible to the air pollution are children and elderly citizens and we’ve already started to see the effects. Many of the leading causes of death in Hong Kong can be caused or worsened by air pollution and according to the Clean Air Network, within Hong Kong alone, about 3 people die everyday because of it.
We believe that buses are partly responsible for the pollution and hope that Hong Kong catches up with other cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen where a significant percentage of their buses are electrically powered. If we could hold the department of health, transportation department and the environmental protection department more accountable for the air pollution, we hope that they would increase the number of electric buses that are in use.
To Mr. Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration:
In December of 2018 the government replied to questions raised by the honourable Jeremy Tam regarding the progress the government has made with the introduction of electric buses. In summary, the government announced in 2010 their ultimate policy objective of having zero emission buses running across the country, yet at the start of 2018 only 24 out of 6000 buses operated by franchises were electric. The government attributed the lack of progress to technical issues such as the lack of charging stations, steep uphills that would stress the batteries and lack of battery capacity.
Given the urgent need to clean up the environment in Hong Kong, we would request the government consider more radical proposals such as imposing a hard deadline on private operators to switch to electric vehicles and more aggressive use of subsidies to achieve this outcome. If the battery technology is not yet ready for double deckers, perhaps the government could consider introducing this such initiative to the green and red mini buses. We would certainly be prepared to approach the board of our school and other schools to explore the idea of using bus services that provide electric school buses.
We are grade 9 students concerned about the future of Hong Kong and we look forward to hearing from you.