Switzerland Weighing Electricity-Saving Options, Including Limiting EV Use, Due to Energy Shortages

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    Due to the current energy crisis sweeping across Europe, Switzerland is considering the possibility of banning electric vehicles (EVs) for non-essential uses.

    The owners of Teslas, Volts, and other electric vehicles in Switzerland may soon find themselves getting on the bus, with Switzerland reportedly looking at the possibility of a temporary ban on EVs as part of measures to save electricity.

    Like many other European countries, Switzerland is under major stress due to Russia’s withdrawal as a main supplier in Europe's energy market. Switzerland has displayed particular concern regarding its electricity supply.

    In response, according to an article in the Swiss publication 20 Minuten, the country's government has drafted several emergency measures to ease the strain on the power grid in case of emergencies. Other measures, including restricting the speed of vehicles, reducing the opening hours of shops, and limiting the amount of heating allowed in nightclubs, are also being contemplated. As well, the government's power-saving plan includes a prohibition on electric vehicles being used for non-essential purposes.

    “The private use of electric cars is only permitted for absolutely necessary journeys (e.g. professional practice, shopping, visiting the doctor, attending religious events, attending court appointments),” a government announcement about the restriction is described as reading.

    The Swiss government is hoping that these measures will enable it to stay clear of “load shedding,” which involves disconnecting some customers from the electric power supply in the event that electricity becomes depleted.

    While it may seem that the Swiss government's threats against electric vehicles are unique, the general situation that the country finds itself in with regards to energy-supply shortages is not. Since Russia has largely withdrawn from the energy market on the continent, European nations have been in a constant struggle to secure energy sources in the region, with a number of them fearing the possibility of blackouts over the winter.

    For instance, Germany, in particular, appears to be in a difficult spot in terms of availability of gas as well as electricity, with German officials in the midst of preparations for possible blackouts should the situation worsen.

    France is also experiencing a difficult winter, with French Energy Network tsar Xavier Piechaczyk recently warning that there was a real risk of blackouts hitting the nation. A government spokesperson, Olivier Veran, was seemingly keen to minimize the threat and stressed that there shouldn't be a problem as long as people listen to requests to conserve energy.

    “We are not announcing to the French that there will be cuts,” the official was reported to have said. However, he warned that he couldn't eliminate the possibility of “load shedding” should the required level of savings not be achieved.

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