Customers look at a Tesla Model S electric vehicle at a showroom in Hong Kong. (Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg)

Hong Kong Wants More Teslas on Roads, Gas-Guzzlers on Scrapyard

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong just made buying an electric car cheaper, unveiling a tax benefit that’s set to boost demand for Teslas and other green vehicles from makers such as BMW.

Electric-vehicle buyers who trade in an eligible gas-guzzler will get a waiver of as much as HK$250,000 ($32,000) on the first registration tax, the government said Wednesday when delivering its annual budget. An existing waiver of up to HK$97,500 for new electric-vehicle purchases will also remain in place.

Hong Kong is trying to curb traffic congestion while taking into account rising demand for greener cars, saying in a statement that it “hopes to encourage car owners to go for electric vehicles.” The government came under fire last year when it started levying a new-car tax on EVs, something they had been exempt from until then.

To get the new benefit, car owners need to arrange to scrap and deregister their old vehicle. The concessions will be in place until March 31, 2021.

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