What does this mean for Switzerland?

What does this mean for Switzerland?

Martin A. Bartholdi, Martin Schmidt, Pascal Tischhauser

For many people in Switzerland, a car is much more than just a means of transport. For some, it is a status symbol, for others, cars with internal combustion engines can be a revelation.

For the latter, Wednesday must have been a tarry day: the European Parliament wants petrol-hungry to disappear from the streets. Blick answers the most important questions.

What has the European Parliament decided?

From 2035, car manufacturers in Europe will only be able to market new cars and vans up to 3.5 tonnes GVW that are free from greenhouse gases. From then on, new vehicles with internal combustion engines can no longer be sold.

This means a ban on internal combustion engines from 2035.

EU decision concerns Switzerland: This means a ban on internal combustion engines from 2035 (01:15)

Is the ban already fixed?

no The European Parliament has yet to negotiate the ban with EU countries. They must establish their positions by the end of June. A car repair shop in Germany has already agreed to the ban.

Does Switzerland have to participate in the ban on internal combustion engines in the EU?

No, because Switzerland is not part of the EU. But when cars with internal combustion engines are no longer produced for the European market, diesel and gasoline vehicles will also disappear from our roads. VCS Managing Director Anders Gautschi is demanding even faster implementation than Switzerland: “Switzerland must now show its colors and move forward quickly. In order to meet the climate targets, combustion engine cars and light commercial vehicles should no longer be placed on the market from 2030. ” This is the only way for the vehicle population to consist largely of electric vehicles that can run on renewable electricity by 2050.

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Which vehicles are banned?

This applies to all vehicles that can be driven in Switzerland with a normal category B driving license. The decision does not affect trucks, cargo and cruise ships or airplanes. Blooming small vans motorhomes could also be purely electric powered from 2035.

What exactly is forbidden?

In fact, it is a ban on internal combustion engine technology as exhaust gases are produced during the combustion process. This means gas vehicles as well as mild, full and plug-in hybrids will also no longer be allowed from 2035. Synthetic fuels, so-called e-fuels, are also not an option: they are considered CO₂ neutral as carbon dioxide (CO₂) is removed from the air during their production. However, greenhouse gases are produced during combustion. The EU Parliament rejects them because production requires too much electricity.

What about existing and used cars?

The ban does not apply to existing cars with gasoline and diesel engines. Even used cars with internal combustion engines can be resold after 2035 for the time being.

When will the burners be completely banned?

From 2050, the EU aims to become completely CO₂ neutral. How to do this remains open for now. However, this can probably only be achieved with a complete ban on petrol and diesel cars. However, this has not yet been decided.

Am I not allowed to buy gasoline and diesel anymore?

For now, gasoline and diesel fuel remain legal and can still be purchased. So it’s 13 years before you have to buy a new car as an electric car. Cars with internal combustion engines are expected to depreciate faster as 2035 approaches. Reselling is likely to become more difficult every year. At the same time, however, supply is also declining, which in turn can have a positive effect on resale value. In addition, the internal combustion engine remains approved outside Europe. About half of all used cars in Switzerland are already sold abroad.

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How heavy is the ban on Swiss automotive suppliers?

570 companies in the Swiss supplier industry employ 34,000 people. “40 percent of these companies supply components for engines, transmissions and drivetrain. These companies are directly affected, ”says Anja Schulze, 48, a mobility expert at the University of Zurich.

In addition, there are products such as car mats and interior linings that, at first glance, have nothing to do with the drive, but which must meet completely different acoustic and temperature management requirements for an internal combustion engine than for a gasoline engine. “The companies are reorienting themselves, but today the large production capacity is still geared towards internal combustion engines, and the transition is challenging,” says Schulze.

What does this decision mean for gas stations?

Experts expect a significant reduction in the network of petrol stations. Internal combustion engines that will be in circulation until 2035 will continue to provide demand. However, an ever-increasing number of electric cars can be conveniently recharged at home, at work or while shopping. Gas stations along the motorway should have the best chance of survival, because on longer journeys, it is necessary to visit the charging stations.

Can a sufficient number of charging stations be built by 2035?

Yes, it is provided for in the new CO2 law and the electromobility roadmap. The federal government plans CHF 210 million to expand the charging infrastructure. Private infrastructure also plays a key role, according to energy expert Professor Timo Ohnmacht. “The cornerstone of this transformation should be a real estate charging solution. There is also a lot going on here at the moment. The bottlenecks are more likely to be electricity generation and grid resilience ”.

Do we have enough electricity for the e-car wave?

Axpo wants to shut down the two Beznau 1 and 2 nuclear power plants around 2030. Gösgen is due to start in 2040 and Leibstadt around 2045. This means that Switzerland is at risk of a shortage of electricity without a significant expansion of renewable energy. “An electric car requires almost half as much energy as a household of four. The five million cars expected to be in Switzerland by 2035 consume 12 terawatt hours per year, ”says energy expert Professor Timo Ohnmacht, 42, of Lucerne University. Due to the transition to electromobility, Switzerland needs 23% more electricity than today. “Of course, it would be ideal if e-car owners’ roofs were producing a large proportion of the electricity themselves. If we can’t produce anymore, the price will go up considerably. “

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Is gasoline cheaper?

Can be assumed. The share of electric cars is likely to increase significantly worldwide in the next ten years. If only new electric cars are sold in Europe from 2032, the demand for fuel will fall significantly, and so will the price.

What does this mean for climate and environmental protection?

The European Parliament’s decision confirms the current course that the EU and Switzerland are taking. It will undoubtedly lead to a faster reduction of CO2 emissions from road traffic. Together with the removal of CO2 from heating systems, it has been shown that it slows global warming.

What does this mean for vintage cars?

First of all, the grandfather is the same as with all current cars. Vintage cars may still be driven. We will see what happens from 2050, when the EU wants to be completely CO₂ neutral. It is too early to say whether there will be exceptions for classic cars.

How do third world countries remain mobile?

The rules only apply to the EU. This means that manufacturers can still sell cars with internal combustion engines outside Europe. Already today, many car manufacturers produce various vehicles from market to market. This means that the Third World will remain mobile even without the existing charging infrastructure.

Most manufacturers also open the back door in an electric strategy. Mercedes wants to drive electric cars only where the market allows it.

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