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Pressrelease | 2021-02-02
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Ramping up the introduction of zero-emission vehicles in Nordic cities

How can we reduce traffic emissions in our cities? A study from IVL examines ways in which Nordic cities can increase the proportion of zero-emission vehicles and at the same time accelerate work on new mobility solutions. Cities are advised to assemble packages of measures that mutually reinforce one another.

– Cities play an important role in the transition to a climate-neutral transport sector. As climate goals are tightened, cities also need to raise their ambitions and take active initiatives. One such example in this regard is that they should be granted leeway to push for the use of zero-emission vehicles through legislation, says Anders Roth, mobility expert at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Greater legislative opportunities would, for example, make it easier for cities to introduce environmental zones targeting different vehicle categories.

– Swedish municipalities wishing to introduce zero emission zones today must include all vehicle categories, and this can be seen as too blunt and cumbersome for easy implementation. It should be possible for cities to introduce environmental zones that only apply to light transport vehicles and trucks, says Anders Roth.

The report recommends that cities promote prerequisites for zero-emission vehicles, such as an overarching charging and tank infrastructure and requirements for emission-free vehicles in public procurement of vehicles and services. It is also important that improved charging capabilities for zero-emission vehicles go hand in hand with environmentally controlled parking policies.

– Increasing demand for charging facilities motivates a reassessment of city parking policies. However, subsidized parking for zero-emission vehicles is not recommended for Swedish cities, nor is access to bus lanes, as these measures risk increasing car use at the expense of public transport and cycling, says Anders Roth.

In addition to promoting emission-free vehicles, it is important that cities increase the range and attractiveness of other alternatives, such as public transport and cycling, and that they evaluate the efficacy of measures such as speed limits in promoting sustainable urban development.

– Under the right conditions, ambitious cities can implement a more comprehensive policy package with a combination of different forms of charging systems or zero-emission zones similar to those currently being planned in Bergen and Oslo. In order to fully implement these measures, cities must have a high proportion of emission-free vehicles and bolster opportunities for residents to move around within the city without having to own a car.

Download the report here. Pdf, 2.2 MB, opens in new window.

For more information, please contact:
Anders Roth, anders.roth@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 69 16

Zero-emission vehicles in cities is a project within Sustainable Nordic cities with a focus on climate-smart mobility led by the Swedish Energy Agency. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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