In countries across Europe, fears of an energy crisis with blackouts in the coming winter are high. Not only in Germany, but also in the wealthy alpine country of Switzerland, emergency plans are being made to ensure the best possible power supply.
The Swiss parliament is currently working on a draft law with the colloquial name “Verordnung über Beschränkungen und Verbote der Verwendung elektrischer Energie” – which translates to “Ordinance on restrictions and bans on the use of electrical energy“.
The emergency plan to get Switzerland safely through the winter has four levels and is expected to be adopted in December. And one element in particular is controversial.
Levels 1 and 2 consist of mild restrictions on private consumers’ electricity use. For example, washing may not be done at more than 40 degrees, and streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ must reduce the resolution of their content. A measure we also saw in the first months of the corona pandemic.
But when we get to level 3 of the emergency plan, things suddenly get very nasty for electric car owners. Because not only will shops have to shorten their opening hours, but playing computer games on game consoles will also be banned. Streaming services will be shut down completely and private use of electric cars will be banned. Only in cases of urgent necessity – such as shopping, medical appointments or appointments with public authorities – will you be allowed to use an electric car.
Petrol and diesel cars will not be affected by the forthcoming rules. However, the speed limit on Swiss motorways will be lowered from 120 to 100 km/h.
The Swiss association of car importers is appalled by the proposal. Speaking to Blick newspaper, the association’s director Andreas Burgener says politicians’ plans are
directly harmful to the climate fight.
“Anyone who buys or orders a car right now, knowing about this impending ban on electric cars, will choose a petrol or diesel car again if there is a shortage of electricity. After all, they are exempt from the ban.”