Speech at Panel on Environmental Affairs

Hong Kong air quality and progress of improvement measures

Management of retired batteries of electric vehicles

Mr CHAN Chun-ying queried whether there would be sufficient recycling capacities in Hong Kong for retired EV batteries, given that currently there were only four licensed facilities to treat such waste in Hong Kong, and the quantity of retired EV batteries was expected to increase considerably with the growing popularity of EVs. He also expressed concern about the recent accumulation of retired EV batteries in local warehouses as cross-boundary transportation of goods had been delayed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Administration responded that, as promulgated in EV Roadmap, the Administration planned to introduce a producer responsibility scheme to promote the recycling and second-life applications of retired EV batteries. The Administration had also been supporting local research projects on technologies relating to the recycling or second-life applications of EV batteries through the Green Tech Fund and the Recycling Fund. Retired EV batteries were regulated as chemical waste, which required a licence for their handling and disposal. Exporters of retired EV batteries must also hold a relevant export permit. The annual quantity of exported EV batteries was around 20 to 30 tonnes at present, and the storage space provided by the licence holders was sufficient to absorb this quantity even if there were some delays in export shipments. The Administration would continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure proper handling of retired EV batteries.