Both electrification and alternative fuels are needed to achieve the climate goals

In order to reduce the transport sector’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions and achieve politically set goals, both increased electrification and increased use of biofuels in Swedish car traffic are required.

Here, the development of Swedish car traffic up to 2060 is modeled. To achieve the climate goals, a combination of two strategies is needed: A transition to electrification, possibly accelerated by a ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, and a reduction mandate to blend in blending biofuels.

Combining an early sales ban with ambitious policy instruments for increased use of biofuels can reduce cars’ fossil carbon dioxide emissions by more than 70 percent by 2030. The indicative level for 2045, which should be close to zero emissions from car traffic, is only achieved by combining an early ban (in 2025 or 2030) with increasing biofuel use at least until 2030, according to this study,

Without the support of policy for rapid electrification (for example through sales bans), car traffic’s emissions of fossil carbon dioxide depend to a much greater extent on how the blending of biofuels develops over time.

The global average temperature increases linearly with fossil carbon dioxide emissions and lasts for hundreds of years. When using biofuels, there is not the same linear relationship between global warming and the biogenic carbon dioxide emitted from cars’ exhaust pipes. The temperature impact of Swedish car traffic, when both fossil and biogenic emissions are taken into account, thus depends on the origin of carbon dioxide emissions.

The turnover time of the biomass, i.e., the time that the carbon atoms in the biomass would have remained in the biogenic carbon stock if they had not been used as an energy raw material, is also important for how large the contribution to heating will be. The shorter the turnover time of the biomass used, the less effect it will have on the temperature.

Results were presented (in Swedish) in a webinar on 26th April 2022:


Göran Berndes, Chalmers


Daniel Johansson and Johannes Morfeldt, Chalmers // Julia Hansson and Sofie Hellsten, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Time plan
15 June 2020 - 30 November 2021

Total project cost
2 123 000 SEK

The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partner organisations, Chalmers and IVL.

Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program

The project has a reference gruop consisting of Jakob Lagercrantz, the Swedish 2030-secretariat; Anna Elofsson head secretary for SOU 2019:04 (The Swedish Government Inquiry on the phase-out of fossil fuels and a petrol and diesel car sales ban); Anna Widerberg and Andrea Egeskog, Volvo Cars; Tomas Kåberger, Swedish Climate Policy Council and Anette Cowie, IEA Bioenergy and University of New England, Ausrtalia. The reference group will mainly be involved in teh scenario construction and assessment.