The Strategist

Sweden to ban fossil fuel cars by 2030

02/06/2019 - 09:25

The new Swedish government wants to ban sale of new gasoline and diesel cars since 2030. Vehicles should stop using fossil fuels and replace it with electricity or biofuels. However, many questions arise as to how this can be implemented in practice.

Frankie Fouganthin
Frankie Fouganthin
In just 10 years from now it will be impossible to sell new cars that run on fossil fuels in Sweden. Instead, politicians hope that electric vehicles will be more developed and will become cheaper.

This ban is one of the 73 points of the January agreement, which the new government has concluded with its support parties, the Center Party and the Liberals. Swedes’ opinions on the ban divided: some believe that this is a necessary aspect of climate care, but others are skeptical and do not believe that this will succeed.

Last year, only 2% of all new cars sold in Sweden were electric and 6% - were hybrid. More than 90% of new cars use conventional gasoline and diesel, according to Bilsweden’s statistics.

Prof. Göran Finnveden analyzes environmental strategies at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. According to him, it is much remains to be seen before the ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars can be implemented.

“It is important to decide how it will be possible to continue using biofuels, because, in principle, it uses the same machines and engines in which biodiesel, or ethanol, or gas can be used. The question is how to put this into practice.”

Another issue that needs to be addressed concerns the rules of trade: how to make them so that they work.

In recent years, the Government of Sweden has provided economic support to many enterprises that are developing new biofuels, including used tall oil from the forest industry and lignin from waste paper industry.

Both the automotive industry and environmental organizations criticized the fact that biofuels were not mentioned in the government agreement.

Mr. Finnveden believes that both electric cars and biofuels cars are needed in order to make the transition to transport without the use of fossil fuels possible.

“The question of the share of electric cars by 2030 remains open. You can imagine that there will be transport on biofuel, and electric cars, as well as hybrids. It is clear that we are striving for a large number of electric vehicles, but it is unlikely that these two types are the only option, ”says Finnveden.

In his opinion, the electric car will become the most common vehicle in the cities, and the cars on biofuel may be used more in the countryside.

The climatic goals of the new government are ambitious, but they are necessary in order to fulfill the agreements reached in the Paris Agreement, Finnveden said. “After all, we must oust cars on fossil fuels. To stop selling cars on fossil fuels around 2030 is necessary to move forward and achieve a neutral climate effect by 2045."

In France, the protest movement "Yellow vests" arose when President Emmanuel Macron announced that the price of fossil fuels would increase. People with low incomes considered it unfair that they have to pay for the fight against climate change.

In Sweden, the issue of justice was also raised as a matter that the government should take into account when banning petrol and diesel cars.

Finnveden calls for finding the right balance between fines for harming the climate and a reward for being environmentally friendly. The government is trying to do this through taxes.

“I think it’s important to work all the time on measures that help people find good alternatives and solutions. This is just as important as punishment for bad alternatives.”

The Swedish government does not want to be content with a ban on new gasoline and diesel cars in Sweden alone. The government agreement states that the Swedish authorities will promote a similar ban at the level of the entire European Union.