On the Roads


A BMW750 bearing the emblem of Hong Kong, the car assigned to the Chief Executive, on a Hong Kong flyover, closely followed by a BMW X5 security vehicle

The CE’s official BMW 750: John Lee’s office says such vehicles are “environmentally friendly”, offering no timeline for a previously-promised shift to electric vehicles. (Photo: Jamie Lloyd)

Petrol cars used by Chief Executive (CE) John Lee, which may include a 5.0L-engined armoured BMW as well as a range of seven-seater Alphards, are “environmentally friendly” says the CE’s office on questions on whether the CE would be shifting to an electric vehicle as promised by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) last year.

“The vehicles for use by the Chief Executive’s Office are environment-friendly, meeting the qualifying standards for environment-friendly petrol private cars applicable at the time of procurement,” Lee’s office told Transit Jam in response to questions.

Last October, EPD’s air policy chief Dr Kenneth Leung Kai-ming told Transit Jam‘s radio show Wham Bam Tram! that senior officials would have electric vehicles (EVs) “soon”.

“I cannot tell you the date but it will be soon, it will not be long, we are conducting the next phase of procurement for the EV for the principal officials,” Leung told Wham Bam Tram about 10 months ago.

The CE’s office did not answer questions on Leung’s comments and would not discuss a timeline for Lee to shift to a car with lower roadside emissions.

“We will follow the established rules and schedules within the government for the replacement of vehicles having due regard to operational needs,” the office said.

The CE’s office would also not reveal which car John Lee used on a regular basis.

During the weeks between Lee’s official selection as CE, but before his 1 July inauguration, Lee was seen being driven in a Lexus LS 460, plated “AM1”, a top government plate.

At the time, then-CE Carrie Lam had a BMW 750 LiA as her official “emblem” car, the car which carries the emblem of Hong Kong as its licence plate. It is thought Lee has inherited that BMW.

While Lam was regularly seen pulling into Government House in the BMW, followed by a petrol BMW X5 security vehicle, she also made wide use of petrol Alphard seven-seaters for official events, as well as a “spare” identical petrol BMW, plated AM108.

This reporter once raced Lam from Central Government Offices to Baptist University, pitting a bicycle against the Alphard.

The bicycle won the 10km race with 11 minutes to spare, despite having to stop and wait for a ferry to cross the harbour.

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