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'Action needed' as ethanol sales fall

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11:52 CEST+02:00
Sales of ethanol fuel fell in Sweden in September, according to new figures from the Swedish Petroleum Institute (SPI).

Preliminary statistics showed that sales of E85, which contains 85 percent ethanol, were down from 6,600 cubic metres in August to 6,400 cubic metres in September.

SPI's CEO Ulf Svahn said it was "too early to say" whether the trend of rising ethanol sales had been broken.

"But it is probably signigicant that it is now more expensive to drive on ethanol than on petrol," he said.

Mattias Goldmann, spokesman for the Swedish Association of Green Motorists, told The Local that the government had to act to encourage people to use cleaner fuels.

"The government should guarantee that it is cheaper to fill up on ethanol and biogas than on petrol and diesel," he said.

"They should reduce the VAT on ethanol to 6 percent, the same as for tickets on public transport."

Goldmann also slammed the last government's decision to put a tariff of around one kronor a litre on ethanol from outside the EU.

"Imports of diesel and petrol have import duties of 0 kronor a litre".

"We saw in the government's budget proposition that they are postponing measures to encourage use of greener fuels, and that is disappointing."

But increased sales of greener fuels also require encouragement from fuel companies, Goldmann said.

"We see that there is price competition and campaigns on petrol and diesel, but challenge the fuel companies to be at least as tough in competition over ethanol and biogas."

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