This is Tesla’s brand new charging station in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong—a site that Tesla calls one of the biggest Tesla destination charging stations on earth, and the very biggest one in Asia. My brother and his friend just stopped by the facility to have a look. Here’s what he saw.
On Monday, Tesla announced the giant new two-story charging location—which features 50 wall connectors—situated in the parking garage under the FT Life Tower in the rapidly-modernising office district that is the Kowloon Bay area of Hong Kong. According to Inside EVs, the 122-space parking garage for EVs has an area of over 49,000 square feet, and was “built in partnership” with the building’s Tesla Model S-owning landlord.
I asked my brother Mike, who runs the Cars of Hong Kong Instagram page, to take a look at the garage, so he and his friend Keith hopped on the bus and headed that way, arriving at the building shown below. The garage’s entrance ramp is behind the big opening shown on the right in the Google Maps image below, though my brother says this scene looks completely different today, with the building now appearing complete:
Mike couldn’t find a way in, since the skyscraper appeared to be closed during the holiday, so—since the ramp going down under the building specifically stated “no pedestrians”—Mike approached the security guard sitting nearby and asked to see the Tesla chargers.
After struggling with a bit of a language barrier, the guard eventually walked Mike and Keith past a barrier arm gate and down the car ramp, where, on the first two underground floors, Mike saw charging goodness from not just Tesla, but also from EV Link, which is a brand of Schneider Electric.
The guard was apprehensive about letting Mike take any pictures, but he did allow one shot—that panorama at the top of this article (Mike’s friend Keith took one below, too). “This panorama shows only a few Tesla chargers available on this level,” Mike told me. “The wall opposite, not shown in this [only 90 degree] panorama is also covered in chargers.” Mike says the chargers shown in the picture only represent about half of all the Tesla chargers on that floor (but less than half of all chargers including EV Link).
He says the other floor looked similar—featuring walls covered in chargers, as well as some spots without chargers—but that beneath the charging stations were floors for regular cars to park.
Mike called his trip to Tesla’s biggest public charging station in Asia “anticlimactic,” in that he was expecting an Apple-esque, modern looking interior, when what he found “looks like a regular garage.”
Still, when asked if this is what the future of parking garages looks like, he responded: “Definitely.”
According to Inside EVs, it will cost Tesla owners 28 Hong Kong dollars (around $5) per hour to park on these two floors, with “no additional cost for EV charging.“
Tesla told Jalopnik via email that the location, along with other new Supercharging stations throughout the region, represents the company’s continued commitment to the Special Administrative Region of China, which is chock-full of Teslas. The new locations are now part of a charging infrastructure in the area that includes 92 Superchargers at 21 stations, and 400 public and shared wall connectors.
Inside EVs provides some insight into the context of this investment—particularly, it describes how regulations have hurt Tesla sales in Hong Kong:
When the EV waiver for the first registration tax capped at HK$97,500 was introduced from April 1 last year, sales of EVs pretty much nosedived in the sprawling metropolis. This resulted in just 136 new EVs were registered from April 2017 to March this year, compared with 5,819 in the same period the year before. And no one got hit harder than the U.S electric car maker.
However, Tesla is on the offensive to try and recoup the lost sales in Hong Kong.
So we’ve only got a couple of photos to look at, here, and it really just looks like a regular parking garage with a bunch of wall chargers, but this could be a good look at what the future of parking garages holds for big cities—if the charging infrastructure can be made to match every automaker’s big upcoming push into EVs.