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Sales of more environmentally friendly vehicles have taken off while diesel cars became less popular both in Oslo and the rest of Norway, newspaper Aftenposten reported Sunday.

As Oslo politicians work on a plan to have only emission-free vehicles in the capital in future, more and more Oslo citizens choose hybrid and electric vehicles (EV).

“We have seen a big change in the past two years,” Marius Krogseth, a seller of Kia cars, told Aftenposten.

“The electric vehicles are being sold almost before we get them,” he added.

Almost all the cars that were sold in January in the shop at Ensjo where he works were either hybrid or electric vehicles, it is reported.

“In January last year, we sold 31 cars, out of which 15 were either EV or hybrid. In this year’s first month, 28 of 31 sold cars were of that sort,” Krogseth said.

He believed that many customers are afraid that they would not be able to use their diesel cars due to environmental restrictions.

There was a similar tendency in the rest of the country as well, according to Aftenposten.

“There were dramatic changes from 2016 to 2017 in terms of what kind of cars people buy. There is a strong transition to electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and rechargeable hybrids,” said Oyvind Solberg Thorsen, CEO of the Information Council for the Road Traffic.

This tendency is even clearer in Oslo, where the share of newly registered diesel cars for the period from Jan. 1 to Feb. 5 fell from 32.6 to 19.1 percent from 2016 till 2017. During the same period, the share of rechargeable hybrid vehicles increased by 125 percent, from 11.2 to 23.4 percent.

The figures show the strongest transition to rechargeable hybrids – vehicles that can run up to 50 kilometers on electricity, before the petrol engine takes over.

Lasse Fridstrom, senior research economist at Institute of Transport Economics, confirmed that sales of diesel cars have declined since 2011.

One day in winter with diesel ban in Oslo could reduce the number of diesel car buyers in the capital, he said.

It will, however, take a long time before diesel cars are out of the traffic. At best, not before 2036 there will be 90 percent emission-free cars in Norway, Fridstrom said.

“It is nice that politicians are so united and aim at zero emissions for cars,” said Inger Elisabeth Sagedal, communication manager at the Norwegian Automobile Federation.

She pointed out that the type of car someone chooses largely depends on where one lives and where one drives. There is a difference between living in sparsely populated areas and in the city.

“We are committed to spreading the knowledge about the revolution that is going to happen on Norwegian roads. A technology shift will change the way we look at cars. It is about fossil vehicles phasing out in the long term,” Sagedal said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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