Stockholm bans diesel, petrol cars in city centre from 2025

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STOCKHOLM – The Swedish capital plans to ban petrol and diesel cars in part of the city starting in 2025 in a bid to crack down on pollution. 

An area of about 20 blocks that straddles Stockholm’s finance area and main shopping drags will only allow electric cars, some hybrid trucks and fuel-cell vehicles, according to rules to be presented on Wednesday, SVT reported on its website.

An expansion of the zone could be decided in the first half of 2025.

Stockholm could be the first major capital to introduce such a wide prohibition and goes further than plans by Paris, Athens and Madrid to ban diesel cars.

Other cities, including London, have introduced low-emission zones that include daily fees for entering the city centre in older combustion engines.

“We want to create a better living environment for the people who live and work here,” local lawmaker Lars Stromgren, who’s responsible for traffic policy, told the state broadcaster. 

Whether the plan may actually spur sales of electric vehicles in Sweden remains to be seen.

EV sales are struggling in the country as consumers feel the pinch of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Earlier in 2023, the organisation Mobility Sweden cut a forecast on new EV-registrations in 2023 to 35 per cent of total registrations from 40 per cent. 

Elsewhere, Brussels in December 2022 banned non-essential and non-local car traffic on 10 key streets in the city’s core. In August 2023, London completed one of the world’s most ambitious vehicle emissions policies by expanding its ultra low emissions zone.

Still, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in September softened key parts of the UK government’s green agenda, pushing back by five years to 2035 a plan to bar the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

In the capital of neighbouring Norway – the trailblazer on EVs – the Oslo municipal environment agency earlier this year recommended introducing a zero emission zone in the inner city that would first target heavy transport and trucks in 2025 before extending it to cars in 2027. BLOOMBERG

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