Safety assist or loopy concept? Computerized evaluation

Just a montage: the federal government doesn’t “advertise” electric cars. But he campaigned for it anyway.

The project has a good chance of climbing into one of the first places in the ranking of the most absurd state expenditure: the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) wants to promote the purchase of electric cars in Switzerland with a campaign worth millions. You spend 900,000 Swiss francs each in the first three years. With the option of doubling the runtime. In the end, taxpayers will probably have to pay about 5.5 million Swiss francs for it.

The Electric Drive project is part of the Swiss Energy Programme. Involuntarily, the SFOE reveals that the millions of expenses are completely unnecessary. Because anyone who buys an electronic car is actually swimming or driving with the current. Conversely, the arguments of the federal government are tortuous. “Many motorists would like to switch to electric mobility or have already taken such a step. Electric mobility in Switzerland is spreading more and more: in the first three months of this year alone, 16.3 percent of new registrations were electric cars,” the SFOE wrote in Media statement at the launch of the campaign. However, many have asked themselves “whether now is really the time to make the switch, or whether an electric vehicle will suit their mobility needs at all”. This is why the federal government wants to support motorists in their purchasing decisions. According to the SFOE, “Go with the Flow” is aimed at “people who are considering buying a new vehicle or are already in the process of buying.”

Marianne Zund, SFOE’s press officer, told AUTOMOBIL REVUE they didn’t want to use it for advertising. “The campaign aims to provide independent and up-to-date information about energy-efficient passenger cars. So it’s not just focusing on the electric car, it’s focusing mainly on it,” continues Marianne Zund. However, perhaps “mainly” is very generously explained for a campaign called “Go with the Flow”, titled “Electromobility for All” and illustrated with power cables. On the campaign’s comprehensive website, we found not only very extensive advertisements for the electric car but also one sentence dealing with the combustion engine: “But if you cover more than the range of an electric car every day, you might as well use a conventional, energy-efficient car that serves better.” Any mention of fuels Another alternative like hydrogen? Nobody. Even the most important questions have not been answered, namely whether there will ever be enough electricity for everyone to be able to drive with electricity.

86 percent increase

Of course, it is not the job of the government to help certain industries sell their products. In addition to this general regulatory statement, the SFOE campaign appears highly misleading because the electronics market in Switzerland is already booming like never before. As registration figures from the Auto-Schweiz Importers Association show, sales of electric cars in the first three months of this year increased by an incredible 86.2 percent compared to the previous year. It is well known that the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling car in Switzerland last year. It was the first time that an electronic car topped the annual sales charts.

The industry itself knows the best way to deliver its vehicles to customers. She has the greatest interest in her, and in terms of experience she is probably ahead of those in administrative offices in Bern. If someone is interested in a new car, “they should choose a clean, energy-efficient model,” writes the SFOE. “In this way, energy consumption and carbon dioxide2Reducing emissions from private passenger transport. » As if customers did not know this themselves and have long documented it in their purchasing decisions. You could also say that the auto industry has done its homework and is constantly bringing attractive models with electric motors, but also with other alternative forms of driving, to market. The Federal Energy Office’s campaign looks like a hopeless belated mistake.

What about the charging infrastructure?

You can twist and transform it however you like: the campaign is a crazy idea. “Switching to electric mobility in an informed manner,” the SFOE spreads, could be made without any help from the federal government. Especially since the information leaves no room for doubt. “Today there is already a small car with a range of more than 300 km for less than 20,000 francs,” the SFOE wrote. When searching for the answer to the question of what form it should be, an SFOE will likely be groping in the dark like the rest of us.

If anything is needed to further enhance electric mobility, it is an expansion of charging infrastructure in public places. There is no need here and not in the sale of electronic cars. But this is exactly where Marianne Zund does not see the public sector having an obligation: “Of course, charging infrastructure is important, and expansion is currently taking place at a rapid pace. However, the private sector is largely responsible for this.”

There is a shortage of freight facilities in cities and along major traffic roads and in apartment buildings. If the federal government wants to do something, it has an area of ​​activity here that is more of a government task – after all, it has to do with transportation infrastructure. But so far, the federal government has limited it to 100 comfort zones along highways equipped with fast charging stations. However, the time horizon for that is still 2030, so you take your time with that. Perhaps the simplest measure is to drum up ads for electric cars, which are already selling like warm sandwiches.

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