Time to support electric vehicle conversion of cars in Sweden as well
The Swedish government's new scrapping premium must be supplemented with more measures - one area is support for electric conversion; whereby fossil-fuelled cars are simply converted to run on electricity. Daniel Forsberg, Marketing Manager EVSE at CTEK, gives ten suggestions on what Sweden can do to easily increase the share of electric vehicles.
The Swedish government's recent announcement to introduce a scrapping premium for those who choose to scrap an older car with an internal combustion engine and instead buy or lease an electric car, is a positive signal to everyone working for the transition of the Swedish transport sector. However, it is highly uncertain what effects this change will entail and we therefore need to do more.
This summer, Mobility Sweden presented a downward adjustment of the automotive industry's forecast for the number of newly registered electric cars in 2023 by 13,000 cars, from a share of total registrations of 40 per cent to 35 per cent. This is due to Sweden's economic situation, reduced household purchasing power and, not least, the government's cancellation of the climate bonus.
All means to break this trend are therefore important. One such possibility is to facilitate the conversion of older vehicles to electric power. These vehicles would then have a longer service life, which in itself is justified from a sustainability point of view. After all, manufacturing a new electric vehicle means that a large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. At the same time, the issue of electric vehicle conversion is not easy. Until now, it has been the domain of small companies and private enthusiasts, especially the conversion of classic car models. However, some car brands, including Renault, are now starting to offer conversion kits for older car models. In France, it is possible to be reimbursed up to 6000 euros for such a conversion. In the United Kingdom, there is also considerable interest in the electric conversion of older cars.
Electric vehicle conversion is also something that could benefit Swedish employment and the domestic economy. Sweden has a strong automotive industry with many skilled employees who can develop methods and processes to implement electric conversion in a cost-effective and environmentally conscious way.
Here are ten proposals for activities to enable more fossil-fuelled vehicles to be powered by electricity.
1. Simplify retyping: Create a simplified process for retyping vehicles that have been converted to electric power. This should include a specific category for electrically converted vehicles.
2. Standardise the requirements: Introduce standardised requirements for electric vehicle conversion that are clear and easy to follow, based on experiences from other countries.
3. Subsidies: Offer financial incentives or subsidies to individuals and companies that choose to electrify their vehicles. This can reduce initial costs and make it more attractive to convert.
4. Training: Offer courses and training programs for mechanics and technicians who want to specialise in electric vehicle conversion. This increases the availability of skilled labour in the field.
5. Simplify inspection: Create a specific inspection process for electrically converted vehicles that takes into account the unique aspects of electric driving.
6. Provide technical support: Establish a national technical support center where individuals and businesses can get advice and guidance on electric vehicle conversion.
7. Support research and development: Invest in research and development on electricity conversion technologies to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
8. Publicise the opportunities: Run information campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of electric vehicle conversion and how the process works.
9. Co-operate: Encourage co-operation between authorities, the automotive industry and third-party suppliers to develop and promote electricity conversion solutions.
10. Eco-friendly loans: Work with banks and financial institutions to offer special low-interest loans for those who want to electrify their vehicles.
In summary, Sweden has many reasons to incentivise the conversion of older cars to electric power - environmental, economic and employment reasons. And imagine the joy if some company chose to specialise in converting SAAB cars to electric vehicles - then we can really talk about a rebirth.