Stockholm to ban gasoline, diesel cars from city center
(Reuters) - Stockholm will ban gasoline and diesel-powered cars from key parts of the city center from 2025 as it seeks to improve air quality and reduce traffic noise, the Swedish capital's vice mayor for transport said.
The plan introduces an environmental zone across 20 blocks of Stockholm's inner city, covering high-end shopping streets and some of Sweden's most expensive office real estate.
The Green Party, part of the Stockholm City Council's ruling coalition of left-wing and environmentally-focused parties, hopes this will boost the speed at which people exchange combustion-engine cars for electric ones.
"Nowadays, the air in Stockholm causes babies to have lung conditions and the elderly to die prematurely. It is a completely unacceptable situation," Green Party Vice Mayor for Transport Lars Stromgren said in a statement.
A so-called class-three environmental zone primarily allows fully electric cars to drive. Exceptions apply for bigger vans, where plug-in hybrid vehicles will be allowed under the regulation.
Some vehicles are exempt from the regulation, including ambulances and police vehicles as well as cars where the driver or a passenger has a documented disability.
The plan is to further expand the environmental zone after the initial introduction, the Green Party said.
Companies in the transport sector said the plan went too far and that the city should instead focus on investing more in electric charging points to bring about voluntary change.
"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 in a statement.
Stockholm will be the first city in Sweden to introduce the class-three environmental zone.