Switzerland is reportedly making plans to prohibit electric vehicles (EV) from the roads. The national government announces the ban as a remedy to combat the energy crisis. If the nation faces an energy crisis in the winter a ban would be imposed on non-essential journeys in electric cars.
By doing so, Switzerland could become the first ever nation to deal with the energy crisis with a ban on electric vehicles. The officials would allow the EVs on roads for journeys that come under the category of being absolutely necessary. An uncompromising speed limit for vehicles on the highways is also under consideration.
Over 60 % of domestic electricity in Switzerland is generated from its hydroelectric power stations. This includes the river crossing dams and the generators that are operating from between the lakes.
Another major source of power generally is from the nuclear power station which the government of Switzerland is committed to phase out. There is minor power received from the solar and wind power generation plants. Also the fossil fuel plants inside the nation.
The winter months results in the decreased functioning of the hydroelectric power stations thus causing a major portion of the Switzerlandian power to be received by importing from nations such as France and Germany. This supply is expected to be limited this year.
This is due to the available standards of fossil fuels, mostly natural gas present in the exporter nations. The Ukraine– Russia crisis is also impacting energy generation and distribution all over the European nations.
Germany is facing a power shortage on its own owing to its dependency on Russian power, and France is challenged with the ongoing crises with its nuclear reactors.
The hydroelectric power station largely depends on the amount of rain received and melted snow bodies. This is minimal during winter and autumn and is at its maximum during summer and spring.
Switzerland didn’t have a storage of power due to one of the driest summers ever which caused the presence of only shallow water in the rivers and lakes.
Other policies are also in consideration to conserve power. Such proposed policies are imposing restrictions on activities that may cause a power outage. This includes sporting events, concerts, and theater performances. Stores are also expected to reduce power usage by narrowing down the working hours. Two hours would be deducted from the normal working hours of the stores.
Buildings could only be heated up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees Celsius. Buildings that happen to be hospitals and nursing homes could be heated more.
Restrictions on streaming services are also expected. Streaming platforms would only be allowed, a resolution of lower than the High Definition (HD) ones.
The public would be notified to restrict their washing machines to the utmost of 40 C. Hot water facilities in public bathrooms and air conditioning facilities in private homes would be ceased.
The ban on electric vehicles is expected to only get applied in the further stage. The EV journeys eligible in the emergency category would be medical-related journeys, the ones for attending court hearings, and religious affairs, professionally linked practices, and also the journeys for food needs.
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Ban on cryptocurrency mining, turning off escalators, and Christmas holiday lights and silencing leaf blowers are all reportedly the measures that would be adopted in the face of a severe crisis. Nightclub lighting would also be turned off. The closing down of games consoles and other leisure facilities is also enlisted among the proposed policies. Commercial ice machines as well as public swimming pools would also be shut down. The prohibition of concerts would be happening in the worst case.
Switzerland is building up a two-tiered plan for the purpose. The priority of one tier would be on crisis and that of the other tier would be on emergency. The first would be further having three-level restrictions and the consecutive one would be having four-level restrictions.
The activation of each of the tiers and levels would be according to the capacity of supply. The Elcom (Swiss Federal Electricity Commission) had already sent out a message regarding the probable power blackouts during the winter season. The lessened availability of power exports from France was also signaled.
Elcom has also warned Bern, the capital city of Switzerland would have to suffice its imported electricity needs through purchases from Austria, Germany, and Italy.
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