In the fall of 2021, the Swedish Transport Agency wrote in its report TGS 2020-11409 that they were negatively inclined to allow the EU’s directive 2018/645 also in Sweden. The directive gives member states the opportunity to introduce an exception that allows drivers with a B driving license to drive light trucks of up to 4,250 kg. provided the extra weight is justified by alternative fuels. Infrastructure and Housing Minister Andreas Carlson has now tasked the Swedish Transport Agency with designing a trial operation where it will be possible to apply to drive heavier trucks on a B driving licence.
There are around 600 000 light trucks on our Swedish roads. The announcement from the government was long-awaited by the industry and is important for the green transition to electric vehicles. Batteries weigh a lot and take up a larger portion of the load capacity than traditional fuel-powered vehicles. More vehicles are then required to transport the same amount of goods, or one needs to invest in heavier trucks, which requires a C driver’s license, while today there is an acute shortage of drivers for heavy vehicles.
– The government is very understanding that the weight of certain vehicles can be an obstacle to a rapid green conversion of the transport industry, says Infrastructure and Housing Minister Andreas Carlson in a press release. With this decision, we facilitate electrification because more drivers will be able to drive heavier electric vehicles.
– We welcome the announcement from the infrastructure minister, says Tina Thorsell, social and society policy director at Transportföretagen. The proposal is not least important for the green transition in the transport sector. Now we are eagerly waiting for the government to continue facilitating the same. Here, an expanded charging infrastructure will be a very important part.
At the same time, a revision of the driver’s license directive is underway within the EU, where the European Commission has proposed that drivers who have had a B driver’s license for two years should be allowed to drive a vehicle up to 4.25 tons instead of today’s 3.5 tons. However, the directive is expected to take some time before it enters into force.
The Swedish Transport Agency must report on the assignment by March 8, 2024 at the latest.