E-cars on Swiss roads. But is it worth making the switch?

Nicolas Noth
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The topic of e-mobility is now everywhere: Cars, motorcycles, bikes and even scooters are powered by electricity. But what does the future of e-mobility look like in Switzerland and where are there still uncertainties?

According to a study by Zurich Insurance, only 2 percent of all passenger cars on Swiss roads in 2018 were electric or hybrid vehicles. Only 0.4 percent had a pure electric drive. However, there has been an increasing rethink since 2019. More than 5,000 electric vehicles were sold in Switzerland last year, which represents around 4 percent of all new registrations. Furthermore, in 2019, for the first time, an electric car was the best-selling vehicle - the new Tesla Model 3, followed by Renault Zoé and Hyundai Kona EV.

It turns out that electric mobility is booming in Switzerland. According to a TCS survey in autumn 2020, 53 percent of Swiss people expect to buy an electric car in the future. And yet there is still skepticism among some car drivers, especially as they are repeatedly confronted with information about e-mobility that is not entirely true. We'll get to the bottom of this information.

“Electric cars are far too expensive”

Currently, buying electric cars is even more expensive than buying combustion engines, but with every kilometer traveled, the purchase is more worthwhile. At today's electricity prices, you can travel 100 kilometers with an e-car for less than three francs. In addition, e-cars are exempt from motor vehicle tax, which amounts to 4 percent of the purchase price. In addition, e-cars are also cheaper in terms of service and operating costs. Maintenance costs are lower as no oil changes or new spark plugs are required.

“Electric cars aren't that environmentally friendly”

Compared to an internal combustion engine, electric cars have a greater impact on the environment during production. This is primarily due to the battery, which produces a lot of emissions during production. However, if you look at the entire lifespan of the vehicles, the electric car compensates for this backlog: A gasoline engine emits around 300 CO2 equivalents per kilometer, while the e-car emits less than half of this at 122.

The electricity mix is also decisive. An e-car is more environmentally friendly when the electricity comes from renewable sources. In Switzerland, the electricity mix is relatively environmentally friendly. According to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, 62 percent of electricity currently comes from renewable energy sources, primarily from hydropower.

“You won't get far with an electric car anyway”

With a simple electric car, you can travel between 100 and 500 kilometers before it has to be reconnected to a charging station. For over 80 percent of the days of an average Swiss daily routine, this range is long enough. If the battery level is still insufficient, there are plenty of places where the car can be (temporarily) charged. With the help of certain apps (including soon with autoSense), it is easy to find over 17,000 e-charging stations in Europe.

“Electric cars are not safe enough”

An e-car has all known safety-related components and is therefore just as safe in the event of an accident as a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. In addition, studies on road safety show that a lack of driving experience, inadequate speed or difficulty concentrating are the reasons for accidents and not the type of drive.

Interested in buying an electric car? You should pay attention to these points:

Take a test drive with an electric car to get a first impression of electric driving:

Numerous dealers offer test drives for electric cars. Or rent an electric car through a car sharing provider such as Mobility.

Find out about electric charging stations in Switzerland:

There are already numerous apps and websites where you can find out more about charging stations in Switzerland. Under Get a complete overview of public charging stations for electric cars. You can see in real time whether a charging station is currently available. There are also apps that help you find your nearest charging station (soon also with autoSense).

Find the right electric vehicle for you:

The selection of electric cars today is diverse: from small cars to family cars to luxury sports cars. On TCS You will find the latest electric car models as well as information on energy efficiency and operating costs. ‍

Pay attention to your driving style:

With the right driving style, you can reduce your car's power consumption and thus increase the range even further. Thanks to the AutoScore function, we analyze your own driving style, which not only protects battery life and your wallet, but also protects the environment.

Working together for easy access to the mobility of the future

Around a third of CO2 emissions in Switzerland come from road traffic. Together with our partners Zurich, AMAG and BKW, we are therefore committed to increasing the development of electric mobility. Our adapters and app are therefore also compatible with electric vehicles. We are also currently working on integrating a new e-charging function into our app to make charging your electric vehicle even easier and more efficient. Stay tuned!

Tell us about your experiences with an electric car and why others should buy one too. Just write to us via with the subject line “My E-Car Story.” We will gladly publish any additional contributions on our blog.


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