Sales of electric cars in Switzerland skyrocket as diesel sales slump

Sales of electric cars in Switzerland skyrocket as diesel sales slump

In December 2021, more electric cars were sold in western Europe than diesel vehicles. The “Dieselgate” scandal of six years ago, coupled with new incentives to buy electric cars, has meant drivers in Switzerland have decided to go electric.

Electric car sales on level pegging with diesel in Switzerland

According to a report in the Financial Times, around 176.000 electric cars were sold in western Europe in December 2021, compared with around 160.000 diesel vehicles. In Switzerland, diesel cars still hold a slim lead over electric (13,6 percent of cars sold were diesel, compared to 13,3 percent which were electric) but diesel car sales have been in free-fall in the country, dropping by 37 percent in 2021.

The decline in diesel can be attributed to the “Dieselgate” scandal in autumn 2015, when experts inspected Volkswagen and other car manufacturers and found them to be manipulating emissions tests for diesel engines. Since then, the percentage of diesel cars on the road in Switzerland has declined from 40 percent of total traffic in 2016 to 14 percent today.

Switzerland seen as ideal place to own an electric car

Electric car sales in Switzerland increased by 67 percent during 2021, as a consequence of some cantonal vehicle taxes and financial incentives designed to make electric cars more affordable. Watson explains that the e-car boom in Switzerland is mainly driven by new electric models, falling prices and the density of charging stations on Swiss roads and motorways.

Despite the recent gains, internal combustion still rules supreme, with around 42 percent of new models using petrol engines, but their share has also declined dramatically with the rise of electric and hybrid cars. With some countries planning to ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030, this trend is set to continue worldwide.

Top ten most popular electric cars in Switzerland

The past few years have seen hundreds of different electric car models appear on the market. According to auto-schweiz, here are the top 10 most sold electric vehicles in Switzerland in 2021.

  1. Tesla Model 3 (5.064 cars sold)
  2. Volkswagen ID.3 (2.419 cars sold)
  3. Škoda Enyaq (2.184 cars sold)
  4. Renault Zoe (1.557 cars sold)
  5. Fiat 500 (1.465 cars sold)
  6. Tesla Model Y (1.392 cars sold)
  7. Volkswagen ID.4 (1.370 cars sold)
  8. Audi e-tron (1.010 cars sold)
  9. Volvo XC40 (952 cars sold)
  10. Hyundai Kona (910 cars sold)

For the full list, check out the auto-schweiz website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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