Sweden is saying goodbye to cars with internal combustion engines. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has now declared that no new cars with diesel or petrol engines will be sold after 2030.
Clearly, Scandinavia is stepping up when it comes to transport transition off fossil fuels. Norway, which is so far the only country ever to have an EV-registration quota of around 50 per cent, has aimed even higher, with no new cars with combustion engines to be on the market in 2025. Denmark has drawn up corresponding plans for the year 2030, as Sweden has now done.
But it is not just Nordic countries that are managing the change. Greenpeace transport expert Marion Tiemann pointed out that Sweden is now the tenth country to have set such a concrete phase-out date, and that larger nations such as Great Britain and France are also among them. The latter however angle toward ICE bans no sooner than by 2040 – for the time being.
Tiemann pointed out that Germany, home to a large portion of the world’s automakers, was lagging behind since German Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU), has yet to present concrete transition goals. “It is clear that without a phase-out date for diesel and gasoline engines he will not be able to meet climate targets,” Tiemann believes.
Her thoughts were echoed by the expert body NPM just a few days ago. The ‘National Platform for Future of Mobility’ urged the German government to introduce mandatory sales quotas for electric cars and plug-in hybrids of 25 per cent in 2025 and 50% in 2030. The experts also called for a general speed limit of 130 kph on motorways and increased taxation of petrol and diesel, which in turn could finance subsidies of 8,000 euros for the purchasers of electric cars. Already the proposed speed limit on motorways has been met with opposition. The federal transport ministry itself could be heard on Twitter considering the cap “neither socially nor economically responsible” – an astonishing reaction to something that other countries regard as effective climate protection. So, an ICE ban seems a long way away in “Autoland”.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.