Sunday, 3 July 2016

Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories #003 -- Mr. Ralph Ng

Ralph Ng and his Tesla Model S

To qualify as a true EVangelist, not only must one truly understand the science behind electric vehicles, they must also be actively engaged in educating the public. And if I were to name one Charged Hong Kong EVangelist off the top of my head, I will pick Ralph. Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories #003 has Mr. Ralph Ng sharing his story, with emphasis on Drive Electric Week 2015, on 29th March -- his birthday.

Here's our interview below:

Locky Law (LL): Hello everyone. I am pleased to have Mr. Ralph Ng with me for this interview today. Ralph is a very special guest as he was one of the major Evangelists at the first ever Drive Electric Week in Hong Kong organized by Charged Hong Kong last year. Hello Ralph! Thank you for coming and happy birthday!

Ralph Ng (RN): Thank you for your invitation, in fact it’s my honor being here and share my thoughts as an Evangelist.

LL: Ralph, before we go in-depth, would you please tell me a little about yourself?

RN: I used to live at Cloudview Road, North Point, because of my 4 dogs, 8 years ago I moved to Tuen Mun , a village house. I have 2 elder brothers, and I am the youngest, spoiled one. Thank god that my mother is 93 now and she is still going strong. We have a family with 4 generations. I was in the fashion business as an importer of top brands, and operated boutiques in the Peninsula Hotel, Landmark. With the globalization and market changed in the 90’s my business strategy, instead of being an importer, I worked closely with InvestHK and brought in brands from Europe, setup their Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific headquarters, before entering the Great China market. Now I am semi-retired, working as a consultant for an Indonesian group representing the Central Java Tourism Board, promoting their tourism business.

LL: That is incredible in every aspect! From our past conversations, I know that you are a car lover. But since when have you fallen in love with EVs and why the current one? What do you like about it?

RN: I am still an Internal Combustion Engine(ICE) car lover, the power and the sound thrill me. However the oil price, pollution and the unenvironmental-friendliness tell me that we have to change, not to say to save the world but at least not to make it worst. It was a love at first sight with Tesla. She definitely provides me (or all of us) a better quality of life in ALL respect.

LL: Talking about "She", I've had the luck to have met your wife and daughter at Hopewell Superchargers one time, and they only have the best praises for you, particularly on your devotion to EV and friends. Our LINE group expands quickly mainly because you just seem to be able to invite member after member, which is incredible! On average, how much time do you spend on promoting EVs a week?

RN: I don’t assign any particular time, but whenever I have a chance I encourage people driving EV like a preacher. What my wife said to you is true. Many times I am over enthusiastic, people might misunderstand me and think that I am doing it for some personal gains. I don’t care how they think; I just do what I believe. It’s true, I do gain, pure, long time friendship with those who understand my character.

LL: You know, one of the many reasons I respect Ralph is that he would actually welcome fellow members to use his home charging when needed, and although I haven't had the need myself, I still think this is an amazing gesture, given that charger-sharing is very rare in Hong Kong. What's your motivation?

RN: As I said "Charity starts at home." Hahaha….I enjoy meeting people….honestly, up to now no one ever come for emergency charge yet, which is a good sign, my motive is first, try release people’s charge anxiety. Second, if this message passes along, and more charger sharing, hopefully more people will give up ICE to EV. I will not give up any chances of promoting 'Drive EV' and that’s why I join Charged Hong Kong.

LL: Totally agree with you. I consider Ralph to be my mentor because he has taught me so much about public relations, marketing and event management, all within a matter of hours during our lunch one time! Could you please tell us how come you have so much valuable experience in these areas?

RN: I was major in Marketing, Human Behavior. I organized fashion shows, inauguration parties, staff training…for over 30 years.
Ralph EVangelising at Cathy City

LL: You've helped Charged Hong Kong's event from behind the scene many many times. In Hong Kong's first ever Drive Electric Week, you have been the most active participant in the event! Could you please tell us how it went? (for example, when it was, how many days you were there, how you promote it, how many people you have given test-rides to, rough estimate of how many people you have talked to including students, etc.)

RN: Drive Electric Week was from 12th to 20th September 2015. I was there 4 days giving rides for over a hundred people. It was about a total of over 1000km free rides I gave out. The most fruitful was not only the rides, but the chance explaining to over 100 school kids what EV is and how we can provide Hong Kong cleaner air. The schoolboys are our future. Credits should go to Mr. Core Lohse, the Secretary of Charged Hong Kong who organized the event at Cathay City, I was just a runner for that event. Good job, Core.

LL: You are absolutely a hero in disguise! What were some of the main questions visitors usually ask and how you answer those questions?

RN: "Where is the engine….", "How’s the consumption of gas?????", "What’s the advantage of driving an EV", all kinds of different questions showing how little knowledge they have with EVs. Education -- that’s part of the job Charged Hong Kong is doing now. For those questions I believe all of us, owners/drivers of an EV could easily answer with no hesitation.

LL: Were there any funny moments or memorable experience you can share with us?

RN: There were funny incidents I would like to share. During the party with Elon at Kai Tak, one Tesla owner approached me saying “ Hi, I remember you, while I was looking for parking space at Central, you waved to me telling me that you are about to leave and led me to where you parked and shifted your parking for me.” Since then we become friends. Incident 2, at Panda, my wife dropped her sunglasses. The one she likes most. A month later while I was at Panda again, a nice looking guy stopped my car and took out my wife’s glasses from a nice beautiful box, saying, “ Your wife dropped it last time while you were charging.” He remembers me because we moved out the car to another space immediately after finishing charge and gave him the space. What I am trying to say is nowadays, the parking and charging anxiety is growing to every EV owner, before more EV chargers developed we need to help each other, drivers of EV should learn the etiquette of charging your car in the public car parks, don’t just complain the ICE blocking the charge port, remember charity starts at home.

LL: Being a responsible EV owner is really important, and having good EV charging etiquette is really a must if we want to continue EVangelising. This bring me to my next question, I know you will be helping out at the FIA Formula E which will be held in Hong Kong this October, what can you tell us about the event?

RN: So far not much, as they are still selecting volunteers. There were over 1000 enrolled. Later on there will be field training at Canton.

LL: Wow, Canton, that's some distance to travel. So locally, in terms of events, what kind do you think Charged Hong Kong should focus more on this year or in the near future?

RN: May be Charged Hong Kong could arrange a gathering of 1000+ Tesla during the Formula E and make it a Guinness record, at the same time sign the petition urging our Government to do more on the charge parking, property owner incorporation, electric companies to install more home chargers, hopefully in the very near future to release the charging anxiety, get more EVs on the road.


LL: Lastly, what personal advice do you have for future owners of EVs?

RN: I know people comment that the Tesla is a “Rich man’s toy” I would say on the contrary, It saves not only your money, but also our world. “Wow its so fast, 0-100 within 5 sec. what a super car” I would say its not a super car, its super fast not for racing though, the fast speed is to get you out and / or in time to stay away from danger. The future trend: Remember during the early 70’S there were people who hated and reluctant to accept having a portable phone…. what would happen to them if they insist still not having one. The EV is exactly like a Mobile phone with 4 wheels. That’s why they are called “Auto Mobile”. Now the Tesla get the Auto pilot, Auto assist lane change, etc,,etc,,a real “Auto Mobile” Final advice: Drive safely

LL: Thank you very much, for your mentoring and helping Charged Hong Kong past and present, and all the effort you have put in promoting EVs and Charged Hong Kong! We are very lucky to have you!

RN: Thank you.