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Stockholm's downtown commercial area to ban gasoline and diesel cars by 2025

Stockholm is set to pioneer a groundbreaking ban on gasoline and diesel-fueled cars in the city's downtown commercial district by 2025, making it the first European capital to implement such a restriction, according to a city official. The ban will cover a 20-block area comprising shops, pedestrian walkways, and select residences, with the primary goals of reducing pollution, minimizing noise, and promoting the use of electric vehicles. Lars Strömgren, a city council member responsible for transportation and representing the Greens, outlined the ambitious plan. The initiative aims to establish an 'environmental zone' where only electric vehicles will be allowed, with some exceptions for emergency vehicles and transportation for the disabled.

Stockholm's downtown commercial area to ban gasoline and diesel cars by 2025

The budget proposal for 2024, unveiled by Stockholm's left-leaning, environmentally-focused city council, sets the stage for this groundbreaking move just north of the iconic Old Town. With a majority in the council, the plan is expected to pass easily during the scheduled vote on November 23. Furthermore, Strömgren hinted at potential expansion of the environmental zone in the first half of 2025.

Taxi Stockholm, one of the city's major taxi companies, is already making significant strides in transitioning to emission-free vehicles, with emission-free cars now constituting 30% of their fleet—nearly seven times more than the previous year. The transformation appears to be well underway, driven by the industry itself.

Despite these promising developments, some remain skeptical about the plan's smooth implementation. Opposition figures, like Nike Örbrink from the Christian Democrats, are concerned that the ban could negatively impact local businesses and the hotel industry.

Similar ambitions are taking shape in other European capitals. Amsterdam, for example, is targeting a city-wide shift to emission-free transport by 2030, while Paris has sought to ban all diesel cars before the upcoming Olympics and gasoline cars by 2030. However, Paris has faced resistance in implementing these measures, and existing bans are already in place for older diesel and gasoline vehicles during weekdays, set to expand in 2025.

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