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Why Tesla is focused on oil-rich Norway as it expands beyond the US

Just off the European E18 highway some 210km south of Oslo lies an industrial park called Brokelandsheia. It is an unassuming cluster of a few hundred workers, a small collection of warehouses, a Statoil gas station and a 24-hour cafe and hotel called Cinderella. Next week, the Cinderella cafe is going to see a surge in business: It is the location of one of six supercharger stations Tesla has built in Norway. They will all be operational by this weekend. Tesla’s plan is to cover Europe with superchargers—fast, free charging stations for Tesla’s electric vehicles (EVs)—roughly 200 km apart, and Norway is the first country outside the US to get them.
Tesla’s entire European supercharger network.Tesla Motors

With its tiny population of under five million, remote location at one corner of Europe, and vast empty tracts of land stretching in a thin strip all the way past the Arctic Circle, Norway does not seem like the ideal place to start building a continent-sized network of chargers. For Tesla, the American electric-car company headed by Elon Musk, Holland may seem more sensible. It is is barely 400 km from top to bottom, its terrain is almost entirely flat and it represents the highest sales of Tesla’s Model S outside the United States. It also the location of Tesla’s European headquarters. But Norway has the highest per-capita sales of Tesla, and indeed electric cars, anywhere in the world.


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