Sweden: ban gasoline fossil fuel-driven vehicles by 2025

Here’s an interesting piece of news from The Local, Sweden’s news in English:

Centre party leader Maud Olofsson has called for a total ban on petrol-driven cars by 2025. The party has also called for a tighter eco-car definition and higher carbon taxes. Car-makers have reacted angrily to the plans…..

….Environment minister Andreas Carlgren has, together with party leader Maud Olofsson and minister colleagues, penned a full-page debate article in Saturday’s Dagens Nyheter in which he calls for a dramatic cut in carbon emissions.

The Centre party ministers have laid out a four-point plan to establish Sweden at the forefront of the battle to combat climate change.

The plan includes a ban on fossil-fuel driven cars by 2025 with dramatically higher taxes for thirsty cars in the meantime. A proposed tax exemption for eco classified cars will be available for three-five years with an emissions guideline of 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

Ethanol-fuelled cars will remain as an eco-car alternative but will be subject to tougher fuel-efficiency regulations, Andreas Carlgren argued as the Centre party meets for its future convention this weekend.

Strong reactions from the troubled Swedish car industry have not been slow in coming however. Saab Automobile’s Anna Petré said to news agency TT that it would be “clumsy of the government” to rush through the tougher regulations just as Saab and Volvo were negotiating for state support to enable them to retain production in Sweden.

“Just at the moment it is important for the government to consider employment opportunities,” Petré warned.

Volvo’s Anders Kärrberg joined Petré is calling for restraint.

“It would be very expensive for us manufacturers to tailor-make models after it,” Kärrberg said of Anders Carlgren’s proposal.

There are more details at The Local.

I’m actually a little surprised by the 2025 deadline as Sweden had previously declared an intention to be fossil-fuel-free by 2020. Whilst that was more of an aspiration than a hard goal, it’s interesting to see more meat on those bones.

27 thoughts on “Sweden: ban gasoline fossil fuel-driven vehicles by 2025

  1. well, with the current trend on hiking the CO2-tax in Sweden,i dont think the gov even needs to “ban”,they will simply tax fossil fuels to death.

  2. Swedes banned nuclear power ten-fiften years a go. They just buy it from elsewhere. And now they consider building more…

  3. Not gonna happen people….sure they can pass the legislation, but if the technology isn’t there, the govt. will be scrambling to undo the law around 2020.

  4. Perhaps this will give the government of Sweden a “green” justification to buy Saab (and Trollhattan) from GM.

  5. The people need to vote this party of office.

    Thats what happened here in Canada to the Liberal Party who ran on a carbon tax platform. They were wiped out and the disgraced leader thrown out of the party. No more talk of new taxes here in Canada, we are just not going to take it any more.

    The people have spoken.

  6. Global warming, should it resume, will likely ebb and flow in concert with sun spot activity, as it has until now, Swedish CO2 levels notwithstanding.

    On the other hand, if Sweden wants to ban fossil fuel cars, they only have to do it. No need to raise taxes. Forget the excuse given and focus on the part that says “……….with dramatically higher taxes for thirsty cars in the meantime.” That’s the real story, IMHO.

  7. I doubt it will be much of a problem. The proposal, by the way, is not on petrol cars but on cars driven by fossil fuels, the interpretation petrol and diesel is by the newspaper editors, not in the proposal. By 2025 all pre-1995 cars will legally be veterans, and are exempt from a lot of stuff. Gasoline cars with fuel injection are likely to be easy to convert to ethanol, and this can be done legally and with a reasonable amount of work in Sweden since 1 July 2008. The whole thing may very well be moot at 2025, as I think there is a high likelyhood for (better and cheaper) non-fossil petrol and diesel replacements. I think this will only lead to minor impacts for car owners and manufactures, the real impact is on oil companies (which will have to come up with alternate fuels if they want to stay in business).

  8. I live in Sweden. This party (centerpartiet) used to be named the farmers party. A party that only approx. 5 % of the swedes voted for. They “won” the last election in a 4 party collaboration a few years ago. They are in my view a party infested by a small group of anti developers, anti Nuclear energy (even as sweden is the most nuclear dependent country in europe) and of course also anti gasoline.
    Pay no interest what comes from this party!

  9. Regardless of the fact that it’s asinine to think this might actually happen by 2025, the thought is still a scary one. I’d rather not be reduced to having to choose between either golf carts or absurdly overpriced high performance EVs (I’m looking at you, Tesla). Even if electric model ranges get a little more meaty, actual car enthusiasts would still get pissed on, because there goes all the fun old cars.

  10. I enjoyed working my way through the Global Warming Test linked by Arnold. I would say that I sit in that camp and am thinking of the phrase, “Nothing new under the sun”.

  11. Of course Sweden can put such demands on paper, and as long as there is one car manufacturer with the necessary technology available, the rest will want to follow soon. Maybe not because the Swedish market is important to them, but they will fear the response of other governments.

    When computer monitors were subjected to various Swedish regulations, there were many nay-sayers who claimed that the industry would simply ignore their TCO regulations. Surprise, surprise… They didn’t. It caught everyone’s attention, and customers in other markets wanted to follow suit.

    The sad part is that SAAB are so openly saying that they do not have the necessary technology to comply with this proposed regulation. Old-school SAAB would have had a model ready last year.

  12. Sorry for the rant. I’m amazed and flabbergasted by some peoples caveman-like reaction to a thing like this. I won’t comment on the local Swedish politics; that debate is usually of no use. And no, I don’t think there will be no cars running on fossil fuel by 2025. But what exactly is the problem of setting high goals and striving for something hard? Have we become a generation that just don’t have the energy to do anything anymore? Is this why Asia will take over since the Western world just sits down and complains that changes are hard and everything must stay the same? No wonder GM is in trouble.

    “I don’t even live in Sweden and the idea of it makes me angry.”

    Why? If the US elects a president that denounces basic science, then as a Swede I would maybe be a little scared since it would probably affect world politics. But a small country like Sweden trying to get rid of fossil fuels 15 years from now… Again, why? How the heck can you be “angry”? And what word do you use for terrorists, starvation, the arms-race, racism, violence?

    This was a fun quote: “I’d rather not be reduced to having to choose between either golf carts or absurdly overpriced high performance EVs (I’m looking at you, Tesla).”

    Do you really think that you will run around in golf carts twenty years from now? Or that electric cars will be absurdly overpriced? That 15 years of R&D will produce absolutely nothing even if there is a legislation looming in the future? Please… Remember 25 years ago when personal computers were absurdly overpriced and lame? Remember 15 years ago when mobil phones were absurdly overpriced and could hardly be used outside cities? Did you then thought that they would always stay that way? Rather drive to the bank and do you business in your pimpmobile than doing it easily from home with your computer? Rather use a landline phone forever, preferable one without speed dialing ?

    Maybe some people believes in intelligent design or something, because just sitting down like dumb-asses and refusing to change anything in their lives seems to be their melody. Hate to tell you, but thats the exact opposite that generations before us did and that is why we have our luxury lives today.

    And the global warning debate… I refuse to believe that most of you here are trailer-trash with absolutely no mental capacity whatsoever. The global warning theory could be true. Or it could be wrong. If it’s true, there’s gonna be a huge problem for the next generations. The fact that it could have happened before in earths history is of no relevance since there wasn’t 6 billion people living here then. If it’s false, well then what exactly is the problem of having luxury, safe, fun, practical cars that run on something else than gasoline or diesel – and a cleaner environment? Talk about a knuckle-dragging, tobacco-spitting chain of thoughts when the idea of a car that evolves are totally lost…

    Today, millions of people around the world die every year from heart- and lung diseases triggered by the air pollution in our cities. Most of that pollution is local and comes from vehicles exhaust. So even if there is no global warming, I think there is a great benefit of giving our children a better environment. Obviously there are people that absolutely don’t care about that. A cars should run on gas. Period. Maybe women should stay at home as well, chained to the stove?

    “Why choose this as our goal? Why climb the highest mountains? Why, thirty-five years ago fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice [University] play Texas?”
    “We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things – not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” (John F. Kennedy)

  13. People fear change and the unknown. Like global warming. These fears are used by special interest groups for their narrow agendas and by gov’ts to try to scare us into voting for them and so they can rip us off with new taxes, etc, etc.

    However, global warming trends are not necessarily a bad thing. Warmer climate for Canada means less home heating fuel being burned = less consumption and less pollution. It means huge tracts of land, millions and millions of hectares currently frozen wastelands, becoming available for agriculture and industry. And millions more hectares being able to support forestation. For Canada this would be a golden age where our economy, wealth and population would grow exponentially as would the standard of living for our people.

    So bring it on, we are waiting.

  14. Good, then the people of The Netherlands can move to Canada…

    Let us say you are 100% right: There is no global warming, and if there was, the effect would be beneficial.

    There is still a valid concern that it will be harder and harder to pump enough oil to meet demand.

    In _that_ light, there is no downside to give car manufacturers an ultimatum to come up with altnernatives _fast_. They have been told nicely for fifty+ years. Now it is time to put some force behind those nice words.

  15. Rune(t.o.o.) –

    We love the people of the Netherlands.

    So my post was a bit tongue-in-cheek but I didn’t say there was no global warming but instead my point that it is over hyped and is being used to scare people and as an excuse to tax them even more!

    We should do all we can to reduce pollution and be efficient but controlling the climate?? I don’t think we humans can do that. We will just have to adapt if the climate does indeed change significantly. Which is what humans are very good at doing anyway.

    And to change what car manufacturers built – just change the regulations. Don’t tax the people.

  16. I realised your post was tongue-in-cheek, so I tried to reply (partly) in the same vein.

    Have you really noticed any of the CO2 taxation?

    Here in Norway, they changed the way they tax new cars, to reflect the increased focus on CO2.

    Now, you would think this would help my SAAB, which I so far have mostly fed E85 (Ethanol). In a way it did, because they gave me a $1500 rebate. But the darn thing is still twice as expensive here in Norway, compared with Sweden! $1500 is just a drop in the sea — meaning I could afford the radio! Whohooo!

    Now _that_ is something to complain about.

    Didn’t California try to regulate the car industry? Did it work? I seem to recall a lot of muttering by the SUVidians?

  17. “Swedes banned nuclear power ten-fiften years a go. They just buy it from elsewhere.”

    I think you need to check your sources.
    We don’t build any new nuclear powerplants, but the ones we got work just fine, thank you very much, and produce like 50 % of the energy we need.

    Anyway: of course we need to ban fossil fuels in vehicles, since otto and diesel engines are absolute crap and a total waste of energy. Put the fossil fuels we have left to use were it counts (for example in producing electricity for plug-in cars), not were 70 % of the energy is not used at all.

    Think about that for a second. For every liter of gasoline you pour into your vehicle, only 3 deciliters (maximum!) are actually used to move car. An electric car would use more than 9, in comparison.

  18. ctm: Can you disagree with someone w/o resorting to insults? What’s up with the “trailer-trash” “knuckle-dragging” and “dumb-asses” rhetoric?

    Wimpbeef and Saabyurk: Shame on you for high-fiving such rudeness.

    As for the real issues at hand, how can thoughtful people overlook the demonstrable lack of global temperature rise over the last ten years? World population and economic activity have increased at breakneck speeds during this period, so how come there’s such a disconnect? Yes, indeed, we now have quite a large world population, but earth’s climatic history has proven time and again that massive temperature shifts occur regardless of population size or economic activity. Turning the argument on its head, what happens if the man-made global warming argument is true, but is trumped by the much-better documented history of non man-made global warming? Going one step further, let’s recall that the last time we had very high levels of C02, earth was ruled by giant herbivores (who had no need of cars or nuclear weapons) and plant life flourished like no other time in history. So let’s have a bit of circumspection and humility, OK?

    Finally, getting back to common ground, air pollution is a bad thing and we should do all we can to limit it. If Sweden wants to ban certain forms of transportation in favor of other forms, fine. It’s happened before (good riddance to urban horse-drawn vehicles and their droppings!) It may or may not work out, but there’s no reason why Sweden can’t experiment. However, what more than a few here find suspect is the linkage between grand schemes and taxation. Is the real purpose to achieve clean air or simply to tap a new revenue stream which can easily be diverted to fund unrelated pet programs? Here in the States, highway taxes are routinely diverted away from highway maintenance, just as “education” lottery revenue is diverted away from education. By offering tax credits instead of taxes to achieve the same goals we can negate such governmental conflicts of interest.

  19. aeronaut: if the frozen land of canada will melt, where do you think that water will go? I tell you where, Trollhättan! I’m serious. Southern sweden and many parts of europe will be filled with water, thats a fact.

    The oil will run out. So alternatives are needed. And I think saab are on the right track and have been since they introduced “Biopower”. Here in sweden 90% of the saabs I see have the Biopower badge on its trunk, and the rest are Aeros or Turbo X =)

    Anyway I cant understand how people can be so afraid of filling their car with something else than gasoline, you won’t die, you will _proboably_ just do something good.

    About the original subject: “Centerpartiet” here in sweden won’t be ruling much longer anyway _proboably_, however its a good goal, but it is not possible to reach to 100%. It’s better to aim high and get an OK result, than aiming lower and not get anywhere at all. (Until it is to late?)

    Yes media is most likely (or maybe not?) hyping the “environmental threat”, but how would you otherwise reach all the narrow-minded politicians and the huge mass?

    Oh btw, Trollhättan is as close to the north pole as mid/north Canada, the only reason we have such “mild” climate is thanks to the Gulf Stream, if it changes we will have another ice-age here in northern europe and the Saab era will be over…

    I will think of you Canadians the day it is -30°C here and filled with ice, and I will be happy for your sake…

    Nothing personal.

    The reason why the ice on the north artic is melting is because there is a hole in the ozone layer = more heat is getting in. Guess why.

  20. The biopower has become successful no doubt about it. However it is time to move ahead to hybrid. The technology is there.

    In the end, the decision of driving with fossil fuels or not will be decided by the market price of oil. Right now oil has become cheaper due to the chaos in financial markets. But just wait when asian countries puts in the second gear in their economies and we will see oil prices around 150-200$….then whining about fossils or not will not be a option

  21. A ban on all fossile fuel cars would make sure they’re not re-elected. The smart thing to do would have been to say that all -a majority- of all new cars sold should be fully electric…. That would leave room for enthusiasts cars aswell as cars sold prior to the ban to live their “expected” lifetime.

    But as usuall the Swedish politicians “Iwannabebestintheworld”-ambitions will be paid by us the people. Worked into poor health and then taxed to death…

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