Transport efficiency, Energy-efficient vehicles and ships and Sustainable renewable fuels

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All parts of society must make the transition to fossil-free fuels, but the conditions vary between different parts of countries, within municipalities, between city districts, between people and between different businesses.

Sweden is unique in its cooperation between academia, the business sector and the public sector. We cooperate to solve problems and overcome challenges facing society.

For example, Sweden is at the forefront of the work to develop electric roads, and cooperates on this through innovation partnerships with Germany and France.

Photo: Helsingborg stad

Transport efficiency

In a transportefficient society, accessibility can increase while the amount of traffic necessary to achieve a corresponding level of accessibility can decrease.

Below are a few examples of the actions taken by the Swedish Government for each mode of transport:

  • General incentives: Carbon dioxide tax and energy tax on fuels are in place, which provide incentives to both reduce traffic density and make vehicles more energy efficient. Furthermore, the state co-funds local solutions for public transport, bicycle and freight via urban environment agreements, where municipalities in turn commit to take further action for sustainable housing and/or sustainable transport.
  • Roads: Since 2018, high capacity trucks, with a maximum gross weight of 74 tonnes, can operate on Swedish roads. The maximum length allowed is 25.25 metres.
  • Railways: The Government has tasked the Swedish Transport Administration with conducting a procurement of night train services that will contribute to the establishment of night train connections from Sweden to other European countries. To strengthen the competitiveness of railways and assist the shift of goods transports from roads to railways, the Government has decided on an environmental compensation for rail freight transport. This support was available in 2018–2020, and the intention is for it to be extended to 2021–2025.
  • Sea: In 2019, Sweden introduced the Eco-bonus aid scheme to support the modal shift from road to sea and inland waterways.
  • Aviation: A tax on air travel was introduced 2018. The tax is on commercial flights and paid for passengers travelling on domestic or international flights from a Swedish airport. 

Energy-efficient vehicles and ships

Vehicles and ships in all modes of transport must be energy efficient.

Below are a few examples of the actions taken by the Swedish Government: 

  • Financial support for research and innovation in all modes of transport, including support for an innovation cluster for fossil-free aviation 2045, including electric aviation, and support via the Vehicle Strategic research and innovation programme link . 
  • Bonus-malus. Light-duty vehicles with low emissions of carbon dioxide are qualified for a bonus at purchase, while vehicles with high emissions of carbon dioxide are taxed at a higher rate for the first three years (malus).
  • Carbon dioxide-based vehicle tax. The annual vehicle tax on light-duty vehicles is differentiated based on the vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre (CO2/km).
  • Favourable tax treatment of environmentally advanced company cars. Private use of a company car is taxed lower if the car has advanced environmental technology.
  • Climate premiums for the purchase of electric buses, electric trucks and electrically-powered equipment

Sustainable renewable fuels

Fuels for all modes of transport must be sustainable and renewable.

Below are a few examples of the actions taken by the Swedish Government: 

  • An electrification commission has been set up, led by the Minister for Infrastructure, which takes a holistic approach to electrification of the transport sector, all modes of transport link
  • A first, permanent electric road is included in the national plan for 2018–2029 (pilot route)
  • Regional electrification pilot projects: SEK 500 million in 2021 and SEK 550 million in 2022 for regional electrification of heavy road transport
  • State co-funding of charging infrastructure along major roads, including in remote areas. Also, support to private individuals, tenant-owner associations and others for installing charging points.
  • Biofuels: An obligation for fuel distributors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via stepwise introduction of sustainable biofuels has been in force for diesel and petrol since 2018, and is planned for jet fuel from July 2021  


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A message from Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth

“Millions of people are demonstrating for the climate. Emissions from transport must be dramatically reduced over the next few years. The Swedish Government is making the biggest investment in railways in modern times, investing in electrification and biofuels, and in shifting transport from roads to railways and sea transport. The entire world must go fossil free. Sweden is doing its part and, by spreading good examples and solutions, hopes to inspire the rest of the world. Now is the time to act. Together, we can achieve the climate goals!”