Switzerland Has Some Catching Up To Do In The Euro EV Race

AUG 24 2018 BY EVANNEX 5


Switzerland is a green country in more ways than one – it boasts the world’s second-densest public transport network (after Japan), and solar panels are far more common than in many sunnier climes (Florida, for example).

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla Club Switzerland organized a road trip up the mountains (Twitter: Tesla)

When it comes to electric vehicle adoption, however, Switzerland has fallen far behind other European nations such as Norway, the NetherlandsFrance, the UK and even Germany, which belatedly introduced a modest rebate program. EV sales are growing at a modest pace – the BMW i3 is currently the most popular model, followed by the Tesla Model S (according to EV Sales). However, while a few individual cantons have pro-EV measures in place, the Swiss federal government has none.

The Swiss love their cars every bit as much as Americans do, and in recent years they’ve fallen for SUVs in a big way. According to the trade group auto-schweiz, the market share of 4x4s grew from 25% in 2008 to over 48% in 2018.

Above: Switzerland just cracked the top 5 markets for Tesla Model S registrations, Jan-Jul 2018, in Western Europe (Source: AID Newsletter Report / Matthias Schmidt)

As is the case in several countries, consumers’ love affair with SUVs has derailed efforts to meet previously agreed-upon emissions reduction goals. In a 2017 national referendum, the Swiss opted for an energy policy that limits CO2 emissions of new cars to an average of 95 grams per kilometer by 2020. However, auto importers are far from reaching that goal and moving in the wrong direction. In 2017, the average was 134 grams/km, an increase over 2016.

Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard (who drives a Tesla Model S) recently convened a round-table discussion with representatives of the auto industry and environmental groups, where it was agreed that, in order to meet the country’s emissions target, the market share of electrified vehicles (plug-ins and hybrids) needed to grow from the current 2.7% to around 15%. However, Swiss policymakers have been unable to agree on any measures whatsoever to make this happen.

Above: Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard’s Model S (Image: Bilanz via @UVEK)

The Swiss federal government has soundly rejected the idea of purchase incentives. Meanwhile, the country’s auto lobby has introduced a couple of measures that will allow importers to exceed the emissions standards without incurring fines (between 2015 and 2017, auto importers paid around 18 million Swiss francs in fines). Jürg Grossen, a member of the Swiss Parliament for the Green Liberal Party (and also President of the organization Swiss E-Mobility), recently proposed eliminating the loopholes and earmarking part of the money collected from fines for investments in charging infrastructure. The Swiss Parliament nixed both proposals.


This article originally appeared in Charged. Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Berner Zeitung

Lead Image Source: Flickr via Thomas

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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5 Comments on "Switzerland Has Some Catching Up To Do In The Euro EV Race"

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The average swiss person buys European (mostly German) cars with very high build quality and a luxury understatement. The rest buys mostly affordable European cars for practicality reasons. Since in either category the EV pick on offer is rather poor, EV adoption is stagnating today. It’s still high thou considering there are no incentives. Since the Switzerland has not much of a car industry to speak of there is also not much push for incentives in the future. Since there are no mega cities, local emissions and air quality are also manageable. General traffic and need to expand the road network is seen as the bigger problem.
People who are concerned about car and truck emissions and traffic rather focus on public transport expansion, which is really exceptional. Which other country would have voted through a 20billion tunnel through the Alpes for trains on a direct ballot and actually delivers it on time?

Make them cheaper, we’ll all buy electric!

You are wrong
Tesla Model S are sold more than Audi A8, BMW 7series and Mercedes S-Class TOGETHER!


Check it at Month December…


There is a disgraceful group of people who keep saying take public transport instead of buying an EV. While we have the densest railway network, trains don’t come to my village, only one bus every 30-60 Minutes and it take forever to reach the city barely 10 km away. Also everything is overcrowded, buses, trains etc. I’ll keep my Model S thank you.

I‘ve asked her (Doris Leuthard) why they will replace Atomic Power Plants with Gas-Combi-Power Buildings instead with Solar Panels. She told me, that this is a decision of the Kantons (like States in the us). Switzerland has 26 of those Kantons.
So, its like an egg-chicken problem here.
Be aware, Switzerland‘s size is about half of South Carolina…
But I‘m happy with my Model X 🙂