Over in Hong Kong, the slashing of a tax break for electric vehicles (EV) – which came into effect on April 1 – has had an impact on sales of Tesla vehicles in the autonomous territory. Following the move, not a single Tesla model was registered with the transport department in April, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The situation improved slightly in May, when five vehicles were registered, but is a far cry from the surge that took place before the rule change – in March, 2,939 Teslas were registered, adding significantly to the sales numbers for the first quarter of the year, when around 3,700 units were shifted.

The introduction of a maximum tax deduction of HK$97,500 (RM53,600) on standard tax for privately-registered EVs, applicable to first-time owners, means that the price of a Tesla has nearly doubled. Online publication Quartz had earlier reported that following the removal of tax breaks, a Model S 60, which went for HK$570,000 (RM313,400) with the tax waiver, would be hiked up to HK$925,500 (RM508,700) in the new structure.

It remains to be seen if the decision to remove tax incentives for EVs will have a significant impact on the sales of such cars. According to news reports, a Tesla Hong Kong representative stated that the company did not have long-term concerns over sales of its cars in the territory.

The past three years has seen a boom in EV registrations, and according to statistics listed by the environmental protection department, a total of 11,004 EVs were registered for road use in Hong Kong at the end of May, up from less than 100 in end-2010.