Union efforts in Sweden block new Tesla Superchargers, says report.

Tesla Sweden is currently in a tough spot with trade union IF Metall. Recent reports indicate that sympathy strikes initiated by the Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees (Seko) and the Electricians Union have halted Tesla Sweden’s expansion of its Supercharger Network.

Reportedly, Tesla Sweden has plans to build approximately 35 new Supercharger stations in the coming years, spanning from Malmö in the south to Kiruna in the north. Specifically for 2024, the company had intended to open 20 new Supercharger sites.

However, these plans seem to have been suspended as a result of Seko members’ refusal to connect Tesla’s Superchargers to local power grids. Seko announced on March 4 that its members would no longer partake in connecting Tesla Superchargers to the local power grid, and on March 20, 2024, the Electricians Union extended its sympathy strike to include new Tesla Supercharger installations.

Janne Halvarsson, group manager at Seko Mellannorrland, articulated his firsthand experience at a new Tesla Supercharger site, revealing that the members had control over connecting it to the power grid. In Sweden, electricity grids are controlled as local monopolies, and typically, there is only one owner of the power infrastructure in each geographical area.

Moreover, only these electricity grid owners have the authority to connect installations like Tesla Superchargers to the grid. Halvarsson emphasized the challenges posed by collective agreements and municipal ownership, making it nearly impossible to complete the installations due to the ongoing conflict.

Further illustrating the impact of the strike, Ann-Charlotte Kling, chairman of Seko Södra, pointed to the situation in Ljungby, stating that despite buried cables, no electricity is provided to the Tesla Supercharger site due to the conflict. Ljungby Energi, the local electricity company, confirmed that it is not supplying power to the Tesla Supercharger site owing to the conflict between the EV maker and IF Metall.

Network manager Jan Olsson echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that the cables remain unconnected as long as the conflict persists.

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