Sales of traditional vehicles in Switzerland dropped by 24 percent in 2020, according to the car importers association Auto-Suisse.
At the same time, the number of electric vehicles sold in the country went up by 48 percent.
Low consumer spending caused by the coronavirus pandemic is only one reason for this situation. Another is the limit on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions introduced lin Switzerland last year .
The law now requires average emissions per new car to be reduced from 130 grams to 95 grams, forcing conventional brands to enter the market with new, cleaner vehicles.
This may make some conventional car models up to 10,000 francs more expensive in Switzerland, while electric vehicles may become cheaper under the new restrictions.
While only several years ago electric vehicles were a rarity on Swiss roads, now “competition in the electric market is growing, with the arrival of 20 new models last year. The choice is now expanding to around 50 models available in Switzerland”, said François Launaz, the president of Auto-Suisse.
The most popular e-car by far is Tesla Model 3, with over 5,000 sold in Switzerland in 2020. Next are Renault Zoe (2,887), Volvo XC60 (1,395), Volvo XC40 (1,043), and Hyundai Kona EV (1,034).
This diagram shows sales figures for all the electric vehicles in Switzerland.
Launaz noted that even though electric vehicles are on average more expensive than petrol or diesel cars, the cost is amortised relatively quickly.