The centre-left government in Stockholm has given Sweden’s towns and cities the green light to decide to ban old cars. Local policies may prohibit vehicles below Euro 5 to drive into town from 2020 with all-electric rules being an option too.
The federal government of Sweden has shifted responsibility to the municipalities. From 2020, cities and towns may introduce ICE bans at will in an effort to curb air pollution. The law allows for restricting access to town centres and so-called environmental zones.
From January 2020, diesel and combustion engine vehicles below Euro 5 and 6 emissions standards may be banned to enter environmental zones laid out by cities and municipalities. From July 2022, the ban could be tightened even more when councils will also be allowed to create separate regulated zones allowing access only to electric cars, fuel cell vehicles and cars running on Euro 6 natural gas.
With its decision, the Swedish government has avoided a state-wide shift. Germany too had opted to leave responsibility to municipalities when a court in Leipzig decided that municipalities are allowed to place bans on driving older diesel vehicles in their city limits.
In Sweden opinions differ, according to The Local, depending on levels of air pollution. While the EU had threatened to sue Germany for dangerously high levels of NOx and carbon emissions, Sweden’s air is comparatively clean.