Switzerland named the least friendly country for electric cars by new study
A new study by Compare the Market has argued that Switzerland is the least friendly country in the world for electric vehicles (EV). Experts made the point that unlike in other nations, drivers looking to purchase an EV in the alpine nation are given comparatively few benefits or incentives for doing so.
Norway the most EV-friendly country on earth
To create the study, the insurance and mortgage comparison site analysed 29 countries around the world to see which are the most accommodating for electric vehicles. To determine the final order, each nation was given scores in the following criteria:
- Total number of slow and fast electric car charging stations
- Total number of electric cars sold per year
- Cost of energy
- Financial incentives provided by the government
- The year each nation plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars
Norway was considered to be the most EV-friendly country in the world, followed by France and the United Kingdom. In the study, experts said that Norway’s commitment to banning new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 - the most ambitious goal found by the study - and its system of financial incentives for EV drivers were the reasons why the country topped the list.
Switzerland the world's least friendly country for EVs
In what may prove a surprise for those living in Swiss cities and cantons, Switzerland was rated as the most unfriendly country in the world for those who own electric cars. The alpine nation joined Turkey and Australia in the bottom three.
Despite its poor position, Switzerland was given some praise for the relatively large number of charging stations on offer. It was also noted for the high number of electric cars sold in the country at 59.000 in 2022 - in the same year, the Swiss government signed a pledge with international companies, real estate firms and energy providers that calls for 50 percent of all vehicles on Swiss roads and motorways to be electric by 2025.
Swiss government criticised for lack of action on EVs
So where does Switzerland fall foul? Compare the Market noted that the Swiss government is yet to set a date for banning new petrol and diesel cars. Despite the fact that the European Union is set to ban the vehicles by 2035, which will make their sale in Switzerland practically impossible as Swiss vehicles need to adhere to EU emissions standards and few car companies would want to cater to so small a market, the Swiss government is yet to make its own target.
Second, experts claimed that there are “no government incentives in place for the purchase of EVs.” Again, while a number of cities and cantons do provide some small incentives for those buying and running electric vehicles, and cantons Basel-Stadt and Neuchâtel do use CO2 emissions to calculate vehicle taxes, no country-wide incentives for buying EVs exist.
In fact, the alpine nation’s score in the study may decline by the end of the decade; the Federal Council announced back in 2022 that electric vehicles will likely be subject to a new tax by 2030, due to declining revenues from fuel duty.
Most friendly countries for electric vehicles
In all, here are the countries deemed to be the most friendly for EVs:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- The Netherlands
For more information about the study, visit the Compare the Market website.
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