Switzerland could ban electric vehicle use during energy crisis: reports

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Switzerland could ban electric vehicles from being used non-essentially this winter as government officials begin to brace for an energy crisis during the winter months, according to reports.

The Telegraph reported on Saturday that Swiss officials have drafted emergency proposals that restrict power usage if things get bad this winter.

FILE: Electric cars are parked at a charging station in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File / AP Newsroom)

For example, shops may need to reduce their hours, streaming services may need to be limited and buildings may only be heated to 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Other bans, according to the Telegraph, may include concerts, theater performances and sporting events, all to prevent a blackout.

The reason Switzerland is preparing for possible blackouts is that the country relies on imported energy during the summer months. While more than half, or 60 percent of the country’s energy comes from hydropowered means, but in the winter months productions slows and the country relies on imports.

A Model X car of U.S. manufacturer Tesla is shown in Zurich, Switzerland August 17, 2016. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters Photos)

The war in Ukraine has contributed to shortages in imports across all of Europe, but paired with Switzerland’s dependency on hydropower, the country is, as the Telegraph put it, "vulnerable to energy shortages."

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The country’s emergency plan is split into two tiers: crisis and emergency. It also has three levels of restrictions in the first tier and two levels of restriction in the third tier.

Swiss officials will activate each tier and level based on supply level. At the very minimum, buildings will only be able to be heated to 20 degrees Celsius. As things intensify, electric vehicles will be limited to essential trips, and in the worst-case scenario, concerts and sporting events will cease.

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Additional measures like escalators and holiday lights getting turned off, leaf blowers getting silenced, and cryptocurrency mining getting banned are also included in the plan.

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