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postgraduate thesis: Analysing the potential of electric vehicles in improving the air quality of Hong Kong

TitleAnalysing the potential of electric vehicles in improving the air quality of Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract
The air quality of Hong Kong (HK), especially at the street level, has been a matter of grave public concern. In 2007, road transport was reportedly the major source for emission of carbon monoxide (CO) and respirable suspended particulates (RSP), as well as the second largest source for emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The Government has taken various measures to curb roadside pollution. Recent technological breakthroughs in electric vehicles (EVs) have regenerated the Government's interest in promoting the wider use ofEVs. The main objectives ofthis paper are to examine whether road transport-related measures adopted by the Government have been effective in coping with the air pollution problem and whether the EV policy would improve the air quality ofHK. The Government has taken a more proactive approach, since 1999, in dealing with roadside pollution problems. The emission of all major air pollutants from road transport against the continuous growth in the numbers of vehicles and vehicle kilometers travelled reduced significantly between 1994 and 2007. The reduction of S02, RSP and CO in this time period was 95%, 70% and 59% respectively. Nonetheless, air pollution in HK remams an unresolved problem as reflected by continuous rising trends in the hours with poor visibility, days with roadside Air Pollution Index exceeding 100, and concentration of some air pollutants exceeding the Air Quality Objectives. EVs have zero tailpipe emission but its potential in improving the air quality has been skeptical because part of the emission may be transferred to the power plants. Through quantitative analysis, it was found that if all vehicles in HK were converted to EVs, the overall emission of NOx, RSP, CO and VOC would reduce by 77.3%, 89.9%, 99.4% and 99.4% respectively but that of S02 would suffer a regrettable 13.5-fold increase. It was concluded that the wider use of EVs should be beneficial to the air quality of HK but the potential benefits would depend on the number of vehicles to be converted and simultaneous measures to cut S02 emission at the power sources. A qualitative analysis was made on factors affecting the change of vehicles to EVs. It was found that consumer decisions on EV purchases are likely influenced by availability, choice of models, driving range, reliability, whole life costing, and adequacy of infra structural support. The use of greener fuel and surplus electricity generation capacity as a means to reduce emissions from power plants were also explored. The paper concludes by making recommendations to encourage use of EVs and to maximize its potential benefits. It is expected that the Goverrunent will play an important role in implementing EV-related policies and prioritizing measures to reap immediate benefits.
DegreeMaster of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning
SubjectElectric vehicles - Government policy - China - Hong Kong.
Air quality - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramTransport Policy and Planning

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKwan, Wah-sang, Terrace.-
dc.contributor.author關華生.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.description.abstractThe air quality of Hong Kong (HK), especially at the street level, has been a matter of grave public concern. In 2007, road transport was reportedly the major source for emission of carbon monoxide (CO) and respirable suspended particulates (RSP), as well as the second largest source for emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The Government has taken various measures to curb roadside pollution. Recent technological breakthroughs in electric vehicles (EVs) have regenerated the Government's interest in promoting the wider use ofEVs. The main objectives ofthis paper are to examine whether road transport-related measures adopted by the Government have been effective in coping with the air pollution problem and whether the EV policy would improve the air quality ofHK. The Government has taken a more proactive approach, since 1999, in dealing with roadside pollution problems. The emission of all major air pollutants from road transport against the continuous growth in the numbers of vehicles and vehicle kilometers travelled reduced significantly between 1994 and 2007. The reduction of S02, RSP and CO in this time period was 95%, 70% and 59% respectively. Nonetheless, air pollution in HK remams an unresolved problem as reflected by continuous rising trends in the hours with poor visibility, days with roadside Air Pollution Index exceeding 100, and concentration of some air pollutants exceeding the Air Quality Objectives. EVs have zero tailpipe emission but its potential in improving the air quality has been skeptical because part of the emission may be transferred to the power plants. Through quantitative analysis, it was found that if all vehicles in HK were converted to EVs, the overall emission of NOx, RSP, CO and VOC would reduce by 77.3%, 89.9%, 99.4% and 99.4% respectively but that of S02 would suffer a regrettable 13.5-fold increase. It was concluded that the wider use of EVs should be beneficial to the air quality of HK but the potential benefits would depend on the number of vehicles to be converted and simultaneous measures to cut S02 emission at the power sources. A qualitative analysis was made on factors affecting the change of vehicles to EVs. It was found that consumer decisions on EV purchases are likely influenced by availability, choice of models, driving range, reliability, whole life costing, and adequacy of infra structural support. The use of greener fuel and surplus electricity generation capacity as a means to reduce emissions from power plants were also explored. The paper concludes by making recommendations to encourage use of EVs and to maximize its potential benefits. It is expected that the Goverrunent will play an important role in implementing EV-related policies and prioritizing measures to reap immediate benefits.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B48187677-
dc.subject.lcshElectric vehicles - Government policy - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshAir quality - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleAnalysing the potential of electric vehicles in improving the air quality of Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4818767-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning-
dc.description.thesislevelmaster's-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineTransport Policy and Planning-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2011-

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