With consumers being more informed and open-minded toward electric vehicles (EV), we are seeing many more consumers turning to the EV market when buying a car. Electric vehicle manufacturers are permeated throughout the market with the likes of Tesla or Nissan being some of the more dominant EV firms. As I mentioned in one of my previous articles which you can read here, many car manufacturers are slowly but gradually transitioning to producing electric vehicles given not only due to the market demand but regulatory demands as well.
Speaking of which, the Paris Climate Agreement is a very important deal signed by many countries around the world which regards combating climate change, sustaining a low-carbon future and any adjusting to such an environment. I will be touching upon this exact agreement here and there as it is a vital deal which drives the intentions to make decisions that countries such as Sweden or Norway are making: Banning the sale of fossil fuel vehicles in the near future.
Stefan Lofven (left): “No new petrol and diesel powered cars will be sold after 2030. So we reduce the large climate emissions from the transport sector”
Sweden has decided to ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by the year 2030. Swedish Prime Minister – Stefan Löfven announced that Sweden will assist the country in achieving the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement through this initiative. This will include the ban of all internal combustion vehicles after 2030 but does not ban the operation of such vehicles on the streets. This initiative comes with extra measures such as increased investment into the sustainable vehicle industry: especially electric vehicles and biogas.
These came with comments from the country’s climate policy spokesman of the Swedish democrats stating that it is very radical for this ban to come into place in 11 years (given the current technological environment and how hard it is to predict future technological development) making it unrealistic for the ban to come into place. They also mentioned that it will be extremely difficult for people in some parts of the country who must have a car.
Despite the mixed reaction, Sweden is backed by many other countries who have committed to banning the sale of Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) in hopes of reaching the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
By December 2017, over 50,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been registered since September 2011 in Sweden
You might be wondering, how are Sweden currently doing and what does their electric vehicle population look like? Firstly let’s start with their Electric Vehicle subsidy and incentive provided by the Swedish government of 40,000 Kr (approximately 3,360 GBP at the time of writing) for the purchase of electric and “super-green cars” (which emit less than 50g per kilometer). This subsidy is accompanied with an exemption of the annual vehicle tax for the first five years of registration and a few smaller incentives.
Whether you knew it or not, renewable energies actually account for majority of Swedish energy (over 51% of energy is renewable). This is great for the green environment Sweden is striving for in the next couple of decades and is pushing their efforts further.
This initiative, placed in September 2011 has seen 50,304 plug-in electric vehicles being registered as of December 2017 (Bil Sweden). In turn, this has made Sweden the sixth largest stock of electric vehicles in Europe which has seen the market share of new EVs bought soar from 0.57% in 2013 to 5.5% in 2017 which is great news for Sweden. This however is nowhere near where Sweden wants to be by 2030, given that they want the 5% of new car sales to get up into the majority.
The Paris Climate Agreement aimed at mitigating effect of climate change is seeing a rise in eco-friendly initiatives by states
Currently this initiative is certainly not unheard of. Countries such as Norway and Denmark have decided for the same terms by 2025 and 2030 respectively. The only issue that Lorenz Tovatt – the Swedish climate and energy’s spokesperson mentioned: “If it is possible to implement according to EU legislation, it remains to be seen, it will be part of the investigation…”. He continues by saying that he truly believes and hopes that the ban will go through given their allies onboard, such as the Danish government.
As mentioned previously, this initiative is aimed at reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement which the USA notoriously announced to be withdrawing out of under the Trump administration. The Paris Climate Agreement is aimed at combating the effects of climate change and sustaining a low-carbon future which in 2016 have been signed by 175 parties. The goals set in the agreement are as follows:
- Maintaining the increase in average global temperature under 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels
- Adapting to the adverse environments of a low-carbon sustainable future
- Making consistent financial investments set towards lower green-house gas emissions
Countries such as Germany or South Korea have committed to meeting the goals mentioned in the agreement despite having a large car manufacturing culture and industry.
Economists fear that such regulations could cause a shock to the economy resulting in instability
What does the public seem to be thinking, you might be asking? As mentioned, there have been a mix of opinions a midst the discussion in the Swedish government however the private sector has been taking an interest in such discussion. Deloitte – the consultancy firm has released a report with predictions that electric vehicle ownership costs will undercut petrol and diesel vehicles in 2022. Seen through their recent report: “New Market, New Entrants, New challenges“, Deloitte describe the downwards trend of owning an electric vehicle which are set to kick start a soar in sales in the next decade for electric vehicles. This has been predicted as a result of:
- Soaring demand for EVs
- Policy measures to encompass zero-emission vehicles
- Increased incentives and subsidides by government
- Future removal of technical barriers (for manufactuers) leading to more sophisticated and capable tech
You can find out more in Deloitte’s latest report.
The general public is very mixed when it comes to this and opinions vary depending on the person you ask as there are several views to this. Some are skeptical that this will really bring out a change and that it might even harm economies who rely on car manufacturing if the demand for ICE vehicles decreases. Another point is that the economy just won’t be ready for such a radical change (as seen by the perspective of Sweden’s climate policy spokesman of the Swedish democrats). This view isn’t so much about neglecting climate change and it’s effects but rather a fear for an economy to become unstable.
On the other hand you will get the perspective that this initiative is a great push to drive an increase in demand for EVs which produce positive externalities and minimal harm to the environment, further pursuing the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This in turn will make funds more available to be invested into developing the technology and infrastructure needed to drive the future (pun intended).
Sweden is taking a bold step towards the greener future we all hope for – through implementing such initiatives
Sweden has boldly set out to ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2030 in hopes to contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement which has received mixed reactions from the public and private sectors. Sweden is far from their goal but definitely on track when it comes to how many EVs are on the road along with all the incentives provided by the Swedish government. Many countries are backing a similar goal that Sweden has called for such as Norway or Denmark which want to implement it by 2025 and 2030 respectively.
It’s all up to how the economy and population react to this: whether they start buying more EVs or stick to the traditional ICE vehicle.
What do you think of this new initiative put into place? Is it a great push forward for sustainability or will it lead to chaos in the automotive industry? If you have any questions or thought then please feel free to comment below and I will be sure to respond!
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