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AMF - Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels

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Advanced Motor Fuels in Sweden


Drivers and Policies

The overall goal of Sweden’s environmental policy is to be able to pass on to the next generation a society in which major environmental problems have been solved, without increasing environmental and health problems beyond the country’s borders. Sweden aims to become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare countries. In order to achieve this, the fossil-fuel dependency of the transport sector needs to be broken. Several measures are needed, such as reducing the total energy demand of the transport sector and ensuring that the remaining energy is both renewable and sustainable.

In 2017, a new climate policy framework was approved. The long-term climate goal means that by 2045, at the latest, Sweden will have no net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In more precise terms, the long-term climate goal means that emissions from activities on Swedish territory will be cut by at least 85% compared with emissions in 1990. To achieve net zero emissions, flexibility measures are included. For the transport sector, a reduction in emissions (not including domestic air travel) of at least 70% by 2030, compared with 2010, has also been adopted.

The Government has introduced what is known as a bonus-malus system, whereby environmentally adapted vehicles with relatively low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are awarded a bonus at the time of purchase, and vehicles with relatively high CO2 emissions are subject to a higher tax (malus). Mid-2018 this system will enter into force.

Other measures are a CO2-based fuel tax, a CO2 differentiated vehicle tax, and environmental car subsidies. The environmental car subsidy depends on the certified CO2 emissions. Vehicles with a CO2 emission below a specific 95 grams per kilometer (g/km)-line (counted as a slope according to European Union [EU] regulation No. 443/2009) are exempted from vehicle tax for a period of 5 years. Vehicles with a certified CO2 level less than 50 g/km also receive a subsidy of 20,000 SEK ($2,200 US), and zero emission vehicles receive a subsidy of 40,000 SEK ($4,400 US). Emissions of CO2 are always considered as tail-pipe emissions. With the new bonus-malus, the incentives will change.


Advanced Motor Fuels Statistics

Since 1990, the number of passenger cars has increased from approximately 3.5 million vehicles to more than 4.7 million vehicles. At the same time, GHG emissions have been rather stable at around 13 million tonnes from 1990 to 2007. However, since 2007, emissions have reduced significantly and were about 10 million tonnes in 2015. The main reason for the reduction is the increased energy efficiency of new vehicles and advanced motorfuels.

During the same time period, the increase in the number of vehicles other than petrol- and diesel-fueled has been moderate. The fleet of alternative fueled vehicles was just under 350,000 at the end of 2016, as shown in Figure 1.

Fig. 1    Number of Advanced Motor Fuel Passenger Cars in the Fleet, 2006–2016

The alternative-fueled vehicles correspond to just above 7% of the total fleet of passenger cars. For light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles, the corresponding numbers are 2% and 1%, respectively. However, for buses, the share of vehicles registered as other than petrol- or diesel-fueled is just under 30% of the fleet.

Although flex fuel ethanol vehicles are the most common type of alternative fuel vehicle in Sweden, the ethanol fuel (E85) sold during 2015 only corresponded to less than 1% of the energy content of transportation fuels sold. The GHG reduction per liter of ethanol has decreased compared with last year as a consequence of measures in other regions close to Sweden. In Germany, fuels with a high reduction percentage have stronger incentives than in Sweden. Since 2015, the number of ethanol-fuelled vehicles in Sweden’s fleet has decreased. On the other hand, the number of methane-fuelled vehicles has increased steadily over the last 10 years and has now passed 40,000 vehicles, which corresponds to approximately 1% of the fleet. The number of chargeable vehicles has more than doubled, but from a low absolute number.

The use of renewable biofuels for transport in Sweden amounted to almost 17.5 terawatt hours (TWh), or 19% of the transportation fuels sold during 2016 (Figure 2). Only 3.5 TWh were used in pure form as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) (0.7 TWh), hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) (2.5 TWh), or E85 (0.2 TWh). Methane for transport consists of 83% biogas (1.7 TWh) and 17% natural gas. The remaining portion of the renewable fuels was sold as low blending in either diesel or petrol. Almost 70% of the renewable fuel used in Sweden during 2016 was low blending of HVO in diesel. On average, the renewable share in diesel corresponded to 20%. Some individual diesel products sold on the Swedish market have a renewable share of 50%.

Fig. 2    Fuel Consumption in TWh within the Transport Sector during 2015

When HVO was introduced on the Swedish market, it was produced from crude tall oil from Sweden, Finland, and the United States. As the demand for HVO increased, the number of feedstocks and countries of origin increased. Today, the raw materials are vegetable or animal waste oils, slaughterhouse wastes, Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD), corn, rapeseed, and crude tall oil in descending order. The majority of feedstock for HVO has been imported, as shown in Figure 3. The average GHG emissions from HVO use in Sweden during 2016 correspond to 15.7 g carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) per megajoule (MJ). For FAME, the corresponding figure was 39.1 g CO2 eq/MJ.

FAME or biodiesel are primarily produced from either rapeseed oil or used cooking oil. Rapeseed oil is a preferred feedstock because its cold climate properties (i.e., cloud point) are more suitable for the Nordic climate compared with many other vegetable oils.

Fig. 3    Country of Feedstock Origin for HVO Consumed in Sweden in 2016


Research and Demonstration Focus

The Swedish Energy Agency has several energy-related research, development, and demonstration programs:

  • Energy and environment program is focused on automotive-related research, innovation, and development activities in the areas of increased energy efficiency, transition to renewable fuels, reduction of local/regional environmental impacts, and areas with potential to strengthen the Swedish and the English automotive industry’s competitiveness in a global perspective.
  • Research programs for energy efficiency in the transport sector for 2014–2019 on a system level. The call does not accept projects that focus on technology development of vehicle or engine technologies.
  • Energy-efficient vehicles in 2015–2019. Both road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery are covered, as well as advanced motor fuels.
  • Biofuels programs, thermochemical processes, and biochemical methods.
  • Renewable fuels and systems, 2014–2017. The renewable fuels research program is a collaborative program between the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels, f3.



The goal is set high in Sweden, with a fossil-independent vehicle fleet by 2030 (likely to correspond to a reduction in GHG emissions of 70% compared with 2010), and no net CO2 emissions by 2045. Considering the rate of turnover of the vehicle fleet, the use of advanced motor fuels would be necessary to reach these targets. Currently, 17 TWh of renewable fuels are used, but this level needs to be increased to 2045 or earlier.


Additional Information Sources

  • Swedish Energy Agency, http://www.energimyndigheten.se/en/.
  • The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transportation Fuels http://www.f3centre.se/.


Major Changes

In 2017, the Swedish Parliament adopted a new climate law with the following targets:

  • No later than 2045, Sweden shall have no net emissions of GHGs to the atmosphere.
  • Emissions from domestic transport (excluding aviation) shall be reduced by at least 70% by 2030 compared with 2010.


Benefits of Participation in the AMF TCP

Sustainable and clean energy for transport is necessary to achieve national and international targets. The AMF TCP gives us an arena where we can cooperate with countries worldwide to develop unbiased reports on the effects of various advanced motor fuels.