Mike Stevens | Mar 13, 2009

An oil-free future might sound like a pipe-dream right now, but that is exactly what Sweden is aiming for by 2030.

In just 21 years' time, Sweden hopes to have kicked its oil habit. The country’s heavy investment in renewable fuels like ethanol and clean electricity are seen as the way forward.

saab_bio-power

Already, around 85 percent of cars built by Sweden’s domestic brands, Saab and Volvo, are powered by E85.

Initially the country had hoped to be oil free by 2020, however the government has since extended that original deadline (too challenging, one assumes).

Sweden already has an impressively green infrastructure. Most of the country’s electricity is generated by nuclear or renewable sources. Domestic heating comes courtesy of industrial waste energy or geothermal heating.

The automotive industry in Sweden is one of the few that still relies on oil. This is an issue the Swedish government is determined to change.

volvo-electric-vehicle

One problem which may stand in the way of Volvo and Saab providing oil-free cars is Swedish Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson. Olofsson is resistant to providing the two Swedish manufacturers with the low-interest loans each is seeking. Olofsson's position is that the responsibility for financial support rests with owners Ford and General Motors.

Whether or not Saab and Volvo can survive the financial storm, an oil-free future is itself a challenging prospect. Certainly, if they can achieve it, it won't be in isolation of other markets (meaning: electric cars will be everywhere Bruce).

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