Swiss parliament debates banning new petrol and diesel cars from 2025
As part of the “Fit for 55” plan proposed in the EU parliament, the sale of new cars with petrol and diesel engines will be banned in the bloc from 2035. In deciding whether to follow the EU's lead, some politicians in Bern want to take the idea one step further: banning the sale of new combustion-engine cars for drivers in Switzerland from 2025.
Green Party calls for ban on new petrol and diesel cars in Switzerland
The Green Party of Switzerland told 20 minuten that they have proposed a blanket ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2025. Group leader Aline Trede said that “it has been scientifically proven that we need to get away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. The deadlines for this must be set shorter.”
It is hoped that a shorter timetable will boost innovation in developing alternative sources of energy. Already, a switch to electric vehicles has been encouraged by vehicle taxes in some cantons, but this is the first time a blanket ban has ever been proposed to solve the issue.
While the Social Democratic Party (SP), the second-largest party in parliament, does not support the Green Party's deadline, National Councillor Roger Nordmann said that "2035, on the other hand, allows industries the time to adapt and retool. Otherwise, prices could explode, for example in batteries for electro mobility.” He explained that therefore, the SP's plan is for Switzerland to act in tandem with the EU and push the policy forward together.
Swiss politicians call for slower transition away from petrol vehicles
Others are not so keen to see such a swift transition. National Councillor Priska Wismer-Felder conceded that phasing out fossil fuels may be inevitable, but it “requires that we have a secure power supply, for example, to cover the needs of electric vehicles." She considered the Green’s plan to be unrealistic, noting, "I fear that in three years, neither the necessary charging stations nor the required electricity will be available."
"This is the wrong way for Switzerland," noted Thomas Hurter, National Councillor for the Swiss People’s Party. He said that the deadline places an undue burden on entrepreneurs and international companies to develop solutions at great cost, “damaging innovation” in the long run. He said that other solutions, such as hydrogen vehicles, need to be developed fully before any kind of mass transition or ban.
The ban on petrol and diesel cars will continue to be debated in parliament. If no consensus is found, the matter may be the subject of a referendum in the near future.