The vehicle industry cannot manage the transition on its own. We need to influence and harmonise with the EU in terms of taxation, electrification and infrastructure for both charging and biofuels, but the right conditions are also needed for the Swedish market.
The expansion of the infrastructure should be done by stages. We welcome the announced Electrification Commission and the Government’s electrification strategy.
Clear and ambitious intermediate targets are needed for the electrification of heavy transport, showing the roles and responsibilities of different actors for rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure and for the power and capacity of the network. Successful expansion also requires that flexibility of driving and resting times be adapted to charging. In the first phase, which is here and now, heavy local and regional traffic will be electrified to be followed by long-distance traffic, where there are several alternative approaches. The technical solutions for long-distance traffic are expected to be commercially ready by 2025, which means that the planning of this traffic needs to be started immediately.
Central government needs to contribute to the financing of both charging infrastructure for heavy transport and for the purchase and use of the vehicle. Central government should also actively lead the work on a timed and resourced plan with clear goals for the expansion of charging points:
• At depot, “overnight charging”, – non-public charging.
• At loading and unloading areas, logistics centres/terminals, charging during the day, – semi-public charging.
• On the road, truck stops, – public charging.
For long-haul traffic, i.e. long-distance transport, there are several alternative solutions based on electric vehicles:
• Expansion of fast chargers for heavy goods vehicles along our major transport routes.
• Expansion of dynamic charging/electrified roads for long-distance traffic along our major transport routes.
• Expansion of hydrogen infrastructure, similar to the investments in liquid biogas and sustainable hydrogen production.
• Technology and business development in these areas is moving very quickly and it is necessary for the Government and vehicle manufacturers to work together and in close dialogue with other EU countries. To achieve the 2030 goal, it would be preferable to immediately formulate a main strategy
for electrified long-distance transport.
• The availability of sustainable biofuels, but also predictability and sustainability, with about five to ten years of planning horizon must be ensured. For production and access to biogas, we see many important proposals in the government inquiry on
biogas, Mer biogas för ett hållbart Sverige (More biogas for a sustainable Sweden) (Swedish Government Official Reports SOU 2019:63). The Government should work to promote the production and use of sustainable biofuels within the EU.
• Keep the tax exemption for clean and high-level
• Expand production of biofuels and filling stations for biogas where needed.
• For liquid vehicle gas, a certificate system corresponding to that for gaseous fuels should be introduced, in the same way as green electricity certificates.
• Extend legislation that enables a coherent road network for longer and heavier vehicles.
• Enable a connected transport system, including the expansion of 5G.
• Enable legislation for an automated transport system.
We also need to increase attractiveness through different types of policy instruments for the use of vehicles:
• Use public procurement as an environmental policy instrument, where government agencies have a special responsibility for clear and offensive environmental and climate requirements in procurement.
• Retain green goods vehicle premium and ensure the necessary budget.
• Remove electricity tax for electric buses and heavy goods vehicles.
• Introduce a smart environmental policy kilometre tax covering all traffic in Sweden, including foreign, replacing existing taxes and charges but retaining the green goods vehicle premium.
Sweden’s climate target for the transport sector is that total emissions should be reduced by 70 per cent from 2010 to 2030. With the measures we have suggested above, our starting point is that we can still reach the 70 per cent target by 2030.
To fully succeed, apart from the above-mentioned measures, we need to continue to invest in R&D and demonstration, and to scale up demo projects from technology to also cover systems and business models.