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'Norway is buying our electric cars', slowing green conversion: Sweden

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'Norway is buying our electric cars', slowing green conversion: Sweden
Photo: Tomas Oneborg / SvD / TT
15:39 CEST+02:00
Interest in used Swedish electric cars is surging in neighbouring Norway.

But that could mean that conversion to cleaner private transport in Sweden could take longer, says industry organisation Bil Sweden.

Almost half of all used electric cars exported from Sweden in 2016 were destined for Norway.

That figure was even higher for hybrid vehicles. Two thirds of used motors of this type found their way to garages in Norway, according to figures from Swedish traffic analysis authority Trafikanalys, which expects the trend to continue.

Compared with total used car exports, which have also risen significantly in recent years, trade in used electric cars remains small.

In 2016, around 660 hybrids and 100 electric vehicles made the crossing for re-registration in Norway.

Industry interest organisation Bil Sweden says the trend is a worrying one, despite the relatively small figures.

“It is a clear problem, as these cars are important for achieving the climate goals Sweden has set itself,” CEO Mattias Bergman said.

Owners’ association Elbil Sverige (Electric Cars Sweden) also said that it had noted the trend.

“We have members who have been refused leases on electric cars because they have bought by Norwegian dealers,” Elbil Sverige spokesperson Magnus Johansson said.

Norwegian interest in electric vehicles also applies to new models, with over half of new cars registered in Norway last year either electric or hybrid models.

High subsidies for buyers of electric cars, tax incentives and rules allowing electric vehicle drivers to avoid tolls are contributory factors to the trend.

Bergman said that measures of that kind would also be beneficial to Sweden’s electric car market.

“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,” Bergman said.

READ ALSO: More than half of Norway's new cars electrified: data

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