Zero-emission vehicles and zones in Nordic cities - Promotion, instruments and effects

The foremost purpose of this study has been to provide recommendations to Nordic cities about how zero-emission vehicles can be promoted in harmony with social and environmental constraints, as well as economically sustainable mobility and accessibility considerations. Overall, the assessment is that cities can play an essential role in the transition to a climate-neutral transport sector. As climate goals are tightened, it will also become increasingly important that cities, countries and the EU speed up their ambitions and actions.


The Nordic cities should be given greater legislative possibilities to reward the use of zero-emission vehicles. This legislation may include the possibility of introducing some form of environmental zone or levying traffic fees in urban areas.

Cities are advised to put together packages deploying a raft of instruments that mutually reinforce one another. As a basic package, most cities should work with improved conditions for zero-emission vehicles as charging and / or tank infrastructure, requirements for zero-emission vehicles in public procurement of vehicles and services, complementary measures that increase the supply and attractiveness of alternatives to the car, as well as measures that promote sustainable mobility and urban development independent of vehicle technology.

It is also important that improved charging capabilities for zero-emission vehicles go hand in hand with an environmentally friendly parking policy. Increased demand for zero-emission vehicle charging points will then be a good reason to review the city´s parking policy.

Under the right conditions ambitious cities can implement a more comprehensive policy package with a combination of various forms of zero emission zones or fee systems. To fully implement these measures, cities must have a high proportion of zero-emission vehicles in the fleet as well as strengthening possibilities for residents to move around freely without having to own a car.

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