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Switzerland

EV ADOPTION BY YEAR

Major Developments in 2020

In Switzerland, 2020 was largely governed by the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures, as was the case worldwide. This resulted in the sharpest decline in overall mobility in decades and the lowest number of new car registrations since the oil crisis in the 1970s. However, on a positive note, the sales of vehicles with alternative drives, especially BEV and PHEV have reached a new all-time high.

The Swiss parliament passed the CO2 Act, which outlines the framework to reach net-zero by 2050 and for fulfilling the obligations associated with the Paris Agreement.

Electromobility roadmap 2022

At the end of 2018, representatives set a target to increase the proportion of electric vehicles in new passenger car registrations to 15% by 2022. They defined specific measures in the fields of “Vehicle market development”, “Charging infrastructure”, and “Incentives & framework conditions”. Of the 76 defined measures, 53 are being implemented, ten have already been completed, nine are being revised and the status of four has yet to be clarified. At the end of 2020, the share of plug-in vehicles was already 14.3%.

New energy perspectives 2050+

The new energy perspectives 2050+ present scenarios on how Switzerland’s Energy Strategy 2050 and the net-zero CO2 climate goals can be combined. In all scenarios, the transport sector needs to make the largest contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases. A steep electrification path is foreseen for private cars with an EV share of new car sales of 28% in 2025, 60% in 2030 and 100% in 2040. Hydrogen and synthetic fuels will complement the electrification of heavy trucks and special vehicles.

New policies, legislation and incentives

On September 25th 2020, the Swiss parliament passed the CO2 Act. Some of the most important measures concerning the transport sector are summarised as follows:

  • Tightening of CO2 emission values for the average of new vehicles including heavyweight trucks, in line with the EU.
  • Increase in the compensation obligation for fuel importers.
  • Elimination of mineral oil tax reimbursements for public transport, after 2025 for urban transport and after 2030 for regional transport.
  • New climate fund, to support among many other things charging infrastructure in multi-party buildings.

Electric vehicles are exempt from the circulation tax in most cantons. In addition, some cantons grant purchase premiums for electric vehicles and some funding towards establishing charging infrastructure. The administration is also working on the removal of obstacles and regulatory hurdles in the planning, installation and operation of charging stations.

Outlook

Sales of electric vehicles remain strong and January and February 2021 confirm the trend of the preceding year.

Electromobility roadmap stakeholders are currently discussing more ambitious targets for 2025 with a 40% sales share of plug-in electric vehicles (BEV and PHEV). As for charging, 20,000 public stations are envisioned for 2025, together with a general incentive to facilitate charging at home.

In spring 2021, the report on “Enabling breakthrough of fossil-free drives in public road transport” in response to a parliamentary postulate will be published. It is in essence a roadmap for the transition from diesel buses to battery buses with opportunity charging and other charging strategies.