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Switzerland: an ideal platform for the development of electric vehicles in Europe

Swiss electricity - indigenous production of which is almost CO2-free - offers an efficient solution to achieve the country’s climate objectives, in particular in the transport sector. According to a survey conducted by Alpiq, a 15% market penetration of electric vehicles in 2020 would make it possible to cut CO2 emissions from private road traffic by nearly 10%. Thanks to the quality of its electricity mix and the density of its automobile fleet, Switzerland is an ideal market for the deployment of electric vehicles in Europe.

Following the partnership entered into last December with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Alpiq has conducted a survey of the development of private electric vehicles in Switzerland by the year 2020. This vision was presented at the "Zero Emission Mobility Workshops" held on July 20 and 21 by Nissan Europe at Rolle.

Swiss electricity generation virtually CO2-free

In the area of climate policy, Switzerland aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 (reference year: 1990). To achieve this objective, electricity – 55% hydroelectric and 40% nuclear – has an important role to play in improving the energy efficiency of the country’s two main CO2-emitters, which are heat production (heating fuels: 54%) and transport (fuels: 44%).

Alpiq’s vision of 2020: 15% electric vehicles in Switzerland

According to the survey conducted by Alpiq, if 15% of the private vehicles on Switzerland’s roads, that is, 720,000 units, were replaced by electric models, the CO2 emissions of all domestic road traffic would be reduced by nearly 10%, that is, by 1.2 million metric tons a year. The fulfilment of this vision will be contingent upon general conditions that encourage the penetration of these vehicles on the Swiss market. In the opinion of Giovanni Leonardi, CEO of Alpiq, "Alpiq’s vision will only be fulfilled through a coalition of interests bringing together the country’s main political and economic players, including in particular the 900 or so Swiss car distributors."

Switzerland: an ideal market for the deployment of electric mobility

The Swiss automobile fleet is one of the densest in the world. Owing to their high fuel consumption, Swiss vehicles emit more CO2 than the European Union average (180g C02/km for the Swiss fleet compared with 160g C02/km for the European fleet). To the extent that Switzerland’s electricity production generates hardly any CO2, the country has considerable leverage to take action in favour of the climate. The reliability of Switzerland’s electricity grid, the absence of any car manufacturer in this market and the short average distances driven make Switzerland an ideal platform for introducing electric vehicles in Europe.