Switzerland’s federal government plans to restrict the use of electric vehicles if there is a serious shortage of electricity, reported RTS.
Electric vehicles consume substantial amounts of electricity. An average Swiss car travels 13,500 km per year. An average electric cars consumes nearly 200 Wh/km. This means a household with two electric cars could be consuming 5,400 kWh annually powering their vehicles, a substantial amount and more than the electrical consumption of a typical family home (kWh 4,500).
Based on this reality, the Swiss government said this week that if the nation is faced with a severe electricity shortage, electric car use would be restricted to essential journeys, for example regular shopping trips and driving to work.
Some are unhappy with the federal government plan to restrict electric car use. They feel they could be penalised for acting in favour of the environment. Instead of restrictions they recommend making exceptions for those who generate their own electricity and those who only charge vehicles at night when demand is low.
However, the government claims that the time of charging plays no role in preserving electricity when the supply is limited. Also, the source of the electricity going into the grid is irrelevant. If there is a severe shortage, finding ways to cut how much is drawn from the grid is all that matters.
In Switzerland, restrictions on electric car use, should they be required, will have a limited impact on mobility. Only 1 in 50 cars in Switzerland run entirely on electricity.
The plan, which has a number severity levels, includes other potential restrictions. Limiting indoor temperatures to 18 degrees, banning the use of Netflix, the temporary closure of fun parks, casinos and nightclubs, saunas and escalators are all potential measures should there be a shortage. However, ski lifts would be free to continue operating, something some have criticised.
Under the most extreme scenario, power could switched off for several hours in particular regions.