Low-emission zones gaining global popularity


Sweden is the latest country to adopt low-emission zone measures after it announced plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from Stockholm city centre, Movemnt reports

The City of Stockholm has announced that it will be introducing a progressive low-emission zone in parts of the city centre to help improve air quality and increase the health of pedestrians and infants.

The announcement means there will be a total ban on petrol and diesel cars from being driven in the Swedish capital’s low-emission zone, starting from the end of 2024.

Lars Strömgren, the vice Mayor for transport and urban environment of the city of Stockholm, says there is a need to eliminate the harmful exhaust gases from petrol and diesel cars.

“Poor air quality damages the lungs of infants and causes the elderly to die prematurely. That’s why we are introducing the most ambitious low-emission zone to date.”

The zone will only permit the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and gas cars that meet the Euro 6 emission standards. The zone will also be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a violation of the zone rules could result in a police fine of SEK 1,000, i.e. roughly NZD$150.

Other cities in Europe like London have already implemented low-emission zone measures, such as the ever-controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which recently expanded in the the English capital. Strömgren claims that the Stockholm emission zone is even more “ultra” than London’s.

“Many cities have implemented low-emission zones where high-emission cars are allowed to drive if they pay a charge. Stockholm’s model is more far-reaching. Petrol and diesel cars are prohibited, period. It is more ‘ultra’ than the ultra low emission zone of London.”

There has been a mix of reviews from the public since the zone announcement, with some worried about how this will impact the national grid’s availability of electricity and the lack of infrastructure presence for the pending increase in need for charging availability.