The Swedish capital of Stockholm will ban gasoline cars from its downtown area in an effort to combat pollution and reduce emissions. This restriction will take effect in December 2024.

Lars Strömgren, a Member of Parliament and Stockholm’s vice-mayor for transport, announced the policy earlier this month. Strömgren emphasized that the gas car ban is designed to create a city with more outdoor seating, walking areas, and cycling spaces. This, in turn, will improve air quality.

Never before have such stringent environmental regulations been imposed on vehicles in Sweden. The car ban will cover 20 blocks within the city center. The restricted area encompasses Stockholm’s shopping and banking districts.

Currently, cars within the 20-block area are primarily used for deliveries. By transitioning to electric vehicles, deliveries can be made sustainably and with less noise, allowing for round-the-clock operations.

After the ban takes effect, only electric, plug-in hybrid, and low-emission gas vehicles will be permitted within the zone. However, disabled drivers and emergency vehicles will be exempt from the ban.

According to Euronews, there is potential for the 180,000-square-meter zone to be extended following discussions in early 2025.

Originally, the ban was intended to include the city’s Old Town, but those plans have been abandoned. Instead, the Old Town will be transformed into an urban environmental zone with limited vehicle access and increased space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Stockholm’s Green Party (part of the local governing coalition) wants Stockholm’s inner city to be completely emissions-free by 2030. The Greens want to implement more environmental zones and reduce car traffic by an additional 30%.

To support these initiatives, Stockholm’s local government pledged to spend €2 billion to improve pedestrian, bicycle, and public transport infrastructure in 2022.

With the new ban on gasoline cars, Stockholm has become the greenest capital city in Europe. Athens, Paris, and Madrid have banned diesel cars only. And London is fining polluting vehicles while still allowing them on the road.

Image Source: Sherringford56,