Stockholm is set to ban petrol and diesel cars from its city as a measure to reduce pollution and emissions.
From 2025, fuel cars will be banned covering Stockholm’s inner city area, consisting of its finance and main shopping districts and only electric vehicles will be allowed in the area. The decision concerning the expansion of the zone will be made in early 2025.
Lars Stromgren, the city’s vice-mayor for transport, said, “Nowadays, the air in Stockholm causes babies to have lung conditions and the elderly to die prematurely. We need to eliminate the harmful exhaust gases from petrol and diesel cars. That’s why we are introducing the most ambitious low-emission zone to date.”
While many cities have either introduced or are introducing plans attempting to cut air pollution, Stockholm has gone the farthest to tackle the issue. Paris, Athens, and Madrid have only banned diesel cars, and London has a charging scheme that covers the most polluting combustion engines.
Air Quality News quoted Stromgren saying, “Many cities have implemented low-emission zones where high-emission cars are allowed to drive if they pay a charge. Stockholm’s model is more far-reaching. Petrol and diesel cars are prohibited, period. It is more ‘ultra’ than the ultra-low emission zone of London.”
“We have chosen an area where large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to unhealthy air daily. It is also a part of the city that is home to forward-thinking companies that are keen to lead the transition to a more sustainable future.”
There are admonitions to the plan. While the intention is to allow only electric vehicles to run in the area, bigger vans connected with hybrid- engines are also permitted, and exceptions have been for ambulances, police cars, and vehicles that have the driver or passenger who is disabled or physically challenged.
In Sweden, the Green party is a part of an alliance with the leftwing and parties that are environmentally focused and hold power in Stockholm’s municipal government. The Greens said they expected the low emission zone would support their measure to tackle air pollution.
Transport industry representatives view the plan as too radical. “Since 2010, we have reduced emissions by 34%. But the Green party and their colleagues in the city of Stockholm are now in far too much of a hurry,” the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises said.