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Norway’s EV gain causes Swedish pain

Nissan LEAFs charging in Kristianstad, Sweden.

Used EVs in Sweden are increasingly being bought by neighbouring Norwegians as the country’s appetite continues to grow

As the use of EVs surges in Norway, the Nordic country is increasingly importing used Swedish EVs – to the point that Sweden’s transition to cleaner transportation is now being undermined, according to BIL Sweden, the nation’s trade association for car makers and importers.

Almost half of all second-hand electric cars exported from Sweden in 2016 were exported to Norway, reports The Local. In 2016, some 660 hybrids and 100 EVs sold in the country were destined for Norway.

The numbers are small, but the issue is significant, say Sweden’s car interests. “It is a clear problem, as these cars are important for achieving the climate goals Sweden has set itself,” said BIL Sweden CEO Mattias Bergman.

“We have members who have been refused leases on electric cars because they have bought by Norwegian dealers,” EV owners’ association Elbil Sverige spokesperson Magnus Johansson told the news source.

Norway’s seemingly insatiable demand was brought to the fore last week when Tesla announced it would “slow down” deliveries of its vehicles there in the wake of an incident involving a transporter carrying several Tesla models.

On the one hand, it’s encouraging that that the country with the highest penetration of EVs in the world is not showing any signs of reducing its appetite. However, if Norway’s decarbonisation comes at the expense of other countries, or drives up EV prices for consumers elsewhere in the world, the overall effort is somewhat undermined.

BIL Sweden’s Bergman suggested that new legislation could be needed to protect local drivers. “To achieve a cleaner car fleet in Sweden, we will need electric and hybrid cars for all customer groups. In order to keep used cars in the country, better rules are needed for their use, not just for new models. Only that way will we reach a critical mass of electric and hybrid cars in Sweden,” he added.


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