The grant will go to a joint venture led by the city of Stockholm and the Swedish energy company Vattenfall, which are working together to promote the adoption of electric cars. The government funds could enable the largest purchase of plug-in cars yet in Sweden.
“Today there is tug-of-war to become a prioritised country for the electric car producers and this grant will contribute considerably to putting Sweden on the electric car map,” said Göran Lundgren, who heads the electric car project at Vattenfall. “Before a market is established, electric cars are expensive to produce and to buy, and therefore initial support is needed.”
Ulla Hamilton, Stockholm’s environment and traffic commissioner, added, “Energy efficient and silent electric cars with low emissions are needed in the Stockholm traffic. Stockholm is a world leader in the use of environment friendly cars, to a great extent because of our previous purchasing of environment friendly cars. Now we hope that we may in the same way inspire more companies in Stockholm to switch to electric cars.”
“With this venture we hope to speed up the development away from dependence on oil and from the greenhouse gas emissions from the traffic in the cities,” noted Tomas Kåberger, director-general of the Swedish Energy Agency.
The grant-funded electric car programme will move forward in phases, with an initial fleet of 50 vehicles. Public- and private-sector customers who apply for electric cars by August will get the chance to recoup 25 per cent of the vehicle’s added cost — up to a maximum of SEK 100,000. Vehicle deliveries will take place later in the year.
Eventually, the programme aims to support the purchase of 6,000 electric cars, with future deliveries set for 2011 and 2012.
A study conducted before the grant found that more than 100 companies and organisations in the Stockholm area were interested in acquiring electric cars, with support for some 14,000 vehicles.