Elon musk visits Hong Kong, where his cars are extremely popular with Uber drivers and the public.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X

DURING ELON MUSK’S visit to Hong Kong this year, he called it a “beacon city” for electric cars… which is great for him, because among many other things he is CEO of Tesla the electric car maker, and proponent of solar power. It might be more accurate to call Tesla an advocate of clean electricity for cars and homes.

In Hong Kong, there is a duty of 115% on luxury cars. There is no duty on yachts. Until March 2017, there’s also no duty on electric cars, which is one of the reasons the Tesla Model S is such a popular sight on the city’s roads. More than 2,200 of them were reportedly sold to Hong Kong owners in 2015. There are 36 types of electric private cars approved for use in Hong Kong, sometimes making for long queues at public recharging stations.

The electric vehicle association Charged Hong Kong is organising a rally for electric cars on Dec 3. The route will be within the range of most electric vehicles in Hong Kong and showcase the viability of electric vehicles as an everyday vehicle, while educating the public about the problems surrounding air Quality in Hong Kong and how electric vehicles can help. The rally begins at Hotel ICON in TST and goes to the country club at Beas River in the New Territories.

Request an Uber ride in Hong Kong, and chances are good you’ll get an Uber. There are more than 1,000 public charging stations for electric cars in Hong Kong, with demand rising.

The Hotel ICON, a part of Hong Kong Polytechnic, has a several Tesla Model S cars in its electric vehicle fleet to chauffeur guests around the city and to/from the airport.

According to a May 26 article in The Guardian newspaper, Musk sees Asia as the “biggest area of expansion” for his company, which has plans to substantially expand the region’s charger network.

Musk recently announced two new initiatives for Tesla, Solar Roof and Powerwall 2. The glass with solar cells technology is reportedly going to be used in the Model 3 unveiled this year, with pre-orders topping more than 400,000 cars by October.

The Tesla CEO also makes an appearance in Leonardo DiCaprio’s new climate change documentary Before The Flood, discussing how we must transition from dirty energy.


Model S is one of the safest cars on the road. Much of its safety is owed to the unique electric drivetrain that sits beneath the car. Model S has a low centre of gravity, minimising rollover risk. Model S’s safety record is proven by its NHTSA and Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating along with setting a record of the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants when tested in the United States.

Electric All Wheel Drive

With two motors, one in the front and one in the rear, Model S digitally and independently controls torque to the front and rear wheels. The result is unparalleled traction control in all conditions. Unlike conventional all-wheel drive vehicles that sacrifice fuel efficiency for increased traction, Tesla’s Electric All Wheel Drive system increases efficiency.


Reaching 0-60 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds, Model S is the quickest four-door sedan ever built.

Superior handling is the result of an extremely low centre of gravity, thanks to the battery pack along the floor pan, centred between the axles. No other production car has a more ideal placement of mass for optimal handling.

Touch Screen

The 17” centre touchscreen seamlessly integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data into one intuitive interface. Many functions are mirrored on the instrument panel and are voice-activated to focus the driver’s attention on the road.


Model S allows you to travel anywhere without using a drop of gasoline. The EPA rates the efficiency of Model S as equivalent to 90 mpg.


Tesla claims Model X is the safest, quickest and most capable sport utility vehicle in history. It blends performance and utility with unique features including the falcon wing doors, canopy glass, and seven-seat configuration.

Tesla Architecture

Built on the Tesla platform, the battery’s location on the floor gives Model X an extremely low center of gravity, reducing the risk of rollover common in SUVs. Without an engine, Model X has a crumple zone much larger than other SUVs to absorb the energy of a front end impact. Along with standard active safety features, crash tests indicate that Model X will receive a 5-star safety rating in all categories, the first SUV ever to do so.

Falcon Wing Doors

Model X Falcon Wing doors offer unprecedented convenience, entry, and manoeuvrability. With less space needed to open than the sliding door of a minivan, the double-hinged doors make loading a child in the backseat in tight parking spaces simple. The driver never needs to touch the door? Auto presenting doors automatically open and close as the driver approaches or exits Model X.


Model 3 is the next logical step of Tesla’s “secret master plan” and mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Like every Tesla, Model 3 is engineered to combine range, performance, safety and utility. Smart design maximizes interior space, to comfortably fit 5 adults and all of their gear. Tesla makes fast cars, Model 3 is no exception. The high efficiency electric motor provides zero to 60mph acceleration in less than six seconds. And when equipped with electric all-wheel drive, Model 3 provides safe and dependable traction in all conditions.

Designed with safety as a priority, Model 3 should be the safest car in its class once testing completes. This, combined with over 200 miles of range while starting at US$35,000 before incentives, makes Model 3 an extraordinary mid-size sedan.

Model 3 production is scheduled to begin in mid-2017. At this time, the delivery estimate for new reservations is mid-2018 or later, depending on country of delivery.


The Tesla and SolarCity solar roof is a complete roof that is beautiful, durable and brings renewable electricity production to any home or business. When Tesla and SolarCity embarked to design and engineer the solar roof together, the goal was to create the most beautiful and efficient roof ever – one that would make homes look better while reducing the cost of electricity.

The solar roof consists of uniquely designed glass tiles that complement the aesthetics of any home, embedded with the highest efficiency photovoltaic cells. It is infinitely customizable for a variety of different home styles, each uniquely engineered so that the photovoltaic cells are invisible.

Customers can choose which sections of their roof will contain the hidden solar technology while still having the entire roof look the same. These new roofs will seamlessly and beautifully supply renewable energy to homes, battery storage systems and back into the grid creating savings for owners.

When combined with Tesla Powerwall, the solar roof can power an entire home with 100% renewable energy.


Introduced in October, Powerwall 2 is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to enable self-consumption of solar power, emergency backup, load shifting and other grid service applications. It is the second generation of Tesla’s original Powerwall product, which was introduced to customers in 2015.

Powerwall 2 consists of a 14 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system, an integrated inverter and software that intelligently dispatches electricity when it’s needed most. The unit mounts seamlessly on a wall or on the ground, indoors or outdoors, and is integrated with the grid to export excess energy, maximizing the opportunity for economic benefit.

The battery can provide a number of different benefits to the customer including:

Increasing self-consumption of solar power generation – The Powerwall can store surplus solar energy not used at the time it is generated and use that energy later when the sun isn’t shining. This functionality can extend the environmental and cost benefits of solar.

Load shifting – The battery can provide economic benefit to its owner and the grid by charging during low rate periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharging during more expensive rate periods when electricity demand is higher.

Back-up power – Assures power in the event of a grid outage. Powerpack 2 is offered in two versions, AC and DC, to provide customers with the greatest flexibility whether they are installing new solar, have existing solar, or want to use Powerwall as a standalone product for backup or time of use. Powerwall costs US$5,500 (DC Powerwall includes DC/DC converter and AC Powerwall includes DC/ AC Tesla integrated inverter.)

Before The Flood movie:

My Reading Room
My Reading Room