While the push for more electric vehicles and more environmentally conscious roads can be felt in many countries, few have been as successful at it as Sweden, and in particular its capital of Stockholm. Sweden in general has been making amazing breakthroughs in electric car adoption, and right now it can proudly claim that 36% of all its new vehicle purchases are electric cars. However, Stockholm is truly the one that is on the top of the vanguard, as the latest statistics show that 12% of its vehicles are clean cars. But how was this exactly achieved? Why can Stockholm claim to be a leading city when it comes to electric cars? The answer ultimately comes down to clear and consistent environmental policies that have been around for decades.
Building the Right Infrastructure
Being a clean and healthy city has been a priority of Stockholm for decades now, with demanding emission requirements in place as early as 1996. Since then Stockholm has progressively added more measures to ensure customers prioritise cleaner vehicles through fee exemptions on cars that don’t rely on fossil fuel. However, the real shift towards a focus on electric cars comes as a result of its recent charging infrastructure policies. Since 2014, Stockholm has made a considerable effort to expand its public electric charging network. This means that Stockholm currently counts with well over 100 public charging stations, with at least eight of them being fast-charging.
Providing Proper Incentives
One of the main concerns when it comes to a shift in markets is the cost of entry. A city needs to have clear policies that benefit new adopters or most citizens will prefer to keep their current car. This is particularly true when it comes to electric cars, as one of the most common questions people ask is why is a Tesla so expensive when compared to traditional vehicles. Electric cars in general have more advanced technology and a smaller market size, meaning that costs will remain higher for a while longer. But Tesla on top of that counts with even higher quality control and more advanced piece manufacturing, which then adds another layer of costs.
To avoid these pitfalls, Sweden made sure to provide proper incentives that can help tip citizens in favour of purchasing an electric car. Sweden provides grants of up to 25% of an electric car’s cost to help offset some of the costs. This grant is available both for individuals and businesses so all citizens can benefit from it. Additionally, there are other grants in place for EV buses and other public vehicles, as well as a considerable tax deduction for electric vehicles. All of these incentives go a long way to explain the popularity of electric vehicles in Stockholm.
Having access to a car and proper charging stations is at the end of the day only part of being a car owner. And one of the main concerns of car owners is the actual cost of charging their vehicle. To help with this, the city has an additional set of charging benefits for its citizens on top of a detailed guideline and map for charging stations online. Car owners that subscribe to parking spaces in Stockholm only have to pay a parking fee, meaning that charging itself is free in most locations.
Taking a thorough look at Stockholm’s policies, it’s not hard to see why it has become one of the leading cities for electric vehicles. A growing infrastructure of charging stations ensures that owning an EV is practical. Free charging policies help offset a large portion of the potential cost of maintaining vehicles. Even owning an electric vehicle is easier in Stockholm than in other cities, as the incentive plans provide grants for buyers. A look at Stockholm showcases a thorough plan for EV adoption that is undeniably effective, and many countries could benefit from doing the same.