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Sweden outlines Low Emission Zone options

Sweden’s government has outlined how city authorities in the country could design low emission zones using one of three potential models.

Swedish cities can opt to introduce the measure from January 2020 in order to tackle air pollution, in what the government has described as a ‘powerful tool’ to address air quality.

Sweden’s capital city Stockholm

Currently eight low emission zones exist in the country – predominantly centred around heavy vehicles including lorries and buses.

However, the government has given municipalities additional powers to introduce or extend LEZs to potentially incorporate cars, as well as the possibility to limit access only to vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions.

Among the proposals that the government is calling for city authorities to consider are zones that would initially allow access to only Euro 5 and 6 standard vehicles. However, from July 2022, this would be extended to incorporate only Euro 6 diesel cars and Euro 5 or better petrol cars.

The third type of low emission zone would only allow purely electric cars, fuel cell cars or gas-powered cars to operate.

LEZs

Commenting on the proposals, Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth, said: “We’re seeing the introduction of low emission zones throughout Europe. It is important that we make the air cleaner and the urban environment better in our cities. At the same time, people and businesses need to know what the rules are and have time to adapt to green technology,”

Karolina Skog, the country’s Minister for the Environment, added: “Children’s right to breathe clean air takes priority over the right to drive all kinds of cars on every single street. We are now giving the municipalities the powerful tool they have long been requesting so that they can tackle hazardous air pollution.”

Sweden’s government will give municipalities the possibility of introducing three different kinds of low emission zones as of 1 January 2020:

Low emission zones Light vehicles (cars, light lorries and light buses up to 3.5 tonnes) Heavy vehicles
Class 1 As in the current low emission zones
Class 2 As of 1 January 2020:
• Cars with compression ignition engines (diesel, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid) in Euro 5 or better
• Cars with spark-ignition engines (petrol, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid, natural gas, E85) in Euro 5 or better
• Electric cars
• Fuel cell cars

As of 1 July 2022:
• Cars with compression ignition engines (diesel, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid) in Euro 6
• Cars with spark-ignition engines (petrol, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid, natural gas, E85) in Euro 5 or better
• Electric cars
• Fuel cell cars

Class 2 does not include heavy vehicles
Class 3 • Electric cars
• Fuel cell cars
• Cars that can run on natural gas in Euro 6
• Electric vehicles
• Fuel cell vehicles
• Plug-in hybrid vehicles in Euro 6
• Vehicles that can run on natural gas in Euro 6

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