Stockholm to Ban Gas-Powered Cars from Its Center
Sweden’s capital has a bold plan to boost EV adoption.
As cities from New York to Paris to London do battle over driving restrictions in their downtowns, The New York Timesreports that Sweden’s capital is proposing one of the boldest measures yet: Beginning in 2025, it will ban most diesel and gas-powered cars from Stockholm’s city center. Drivers who break the rule, which will take effect on January 1, 2025, will be fined about $90 — far more than similar drivers in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, who must pay around $15 per day for the privilege of soiling the air.
Lars Strömgren, Stockholm’s vice mayor for transport, told the Times that “Petrol and diesel cars are prohibited, period ... one goal is to push technology and innovation within the transportation sector.” And it seems that the country will need all the help that it can get: Sweden’s conservative national government has for the past year worked to reverse the country’s environmental progress, lowering gas taxes and relaxing fuel requirements. Still, according to Mobility Sweden, a majority of Sweden’s new car registrations in the first half of the year have been to plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
Predictably, Sweden’s transport industry is also unhappy with the ban. “Since 2010, we have reduced emissions by 34%,” the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises said, according toThe Guardian. “But the Green Party and their colleagues in the city of Stockholm are now in far too much of a hurry.” The Confederation did not specify when, exactly, would be an opportune time to clean the country’s air.