This is an opinion text. The opinions expressed are the writer’s own. Dear Andreas Carlson,
Contributing to Sweden reaching our high climate goals is the business community’s highest priority issue and something that is worked on every day, all year round. Extensive efforts will be required from both business and the state. It involves significant investments in electricity grids, charging infrastructure, vehicles and more, but we also need to review regulations and legislation so that it supports the transition and does not oppose it. The transition requires us to rethink and dare to think anew. We must not be so afraid of doing wrong, that we forget to dare to do the right thing. The number of light trucks has increased sharply in Sweden in recent decades. Today there are more than 600,000 and the number has increased by 27 percent in the last ten years. They have a wide spectrum of tasks, from craftsman vehicles, service vehicles to delivery vans and “last-mile” transport within professional freight traffic. Around 100,000 light trucks are owned by private individuals.We who have signed this the letter was very happy when the then infrastructure minister Tomas Eneroth tasked the Swedish Transport Agency to investigate the issue of using the exception in the EU driving license legislation to allow drivers with a B driving license to drive trucks up to 4.25 provided that these are powered by electricity or gas. But equally happy as we were when the government heeded our request, we were just as disappointed when the Swedish Transport Agency handed over its investigation to Tomas Eneroth in the fall of 2021. They advised the government not to take advantage of the exception. The reason why we are pushing the issue is that batteries weigh a lot and steal load capacity. More vehicles are thus required to transport the same amount of goods as today if the vehicles are electric or run on biogas. Alternatively, you can invest in heavier trucks, but then a C driving license is required and there is an acute shortage of drivers with heavier licenses, so it is rarely an option.Several countries within the EU have chosen to use the exceptional opportunity to stimulate a climate-friendly development of transport with light trucks. There are well-functioning democracies and states governed by the rule of law, such as Germany. Happily, in its proposal for a new driving license directive, the European Commission has now proposed that a driver who has had a B driving license for two years should be allowed to drive a vehicle up to 4.25 tonnes that is operated of alternative fuels.ALSO READ Stockholm wants to raise the weight limit for B driving licenses – if you drive on electricity It is urgent if we are to reach our high climate goals and therefore we should not wait for the EU’s new driving license directive to come into force. It is partly a proposal, partly the implementation time is relatively long. But the fact that the European Commission is proposing it shows that there is a need for the change.We would therefore like to urge You to go ahead and apply for the exemption. It would speed up the transformation of the light transport vehicle fleet.Tina Thorsellsocial policy manager TransportföretagenHåkan Nilssonbranch manager of the Transport Industry AssociationLuigi JohannessonBusiness Area Manager Gothenburg Truck CentreViktor StrömbladHead of Land Transport Sweden & Denmark DB SchenkerAnnika ÖhrstrandQEHS Specialist, Scandinavia GEODIS SwedenCatherine LöfquistSustainability Manager BringJonas SkovgaardCEO of ForiaNaznoush HabashianHead of Sustainability PostNord Sweden ABYlva ÖhrnellDirector Business Process Management DHL Freight Sweden ABThe views expressed in the article are the writers’ own.
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