Project «Opportunities and risks of electromobility in Switzerland»
Chancen und Risiken der Elektromobilität in der Schweiz. Study of the Centre for Technology Assessment, Peter de Haan, Rainer Zah, Zürich, vdf, 260 p., CHF 39.--/ EUR 34.--, ISBN 978-3-7281-3487-5 (print edition) / Download open access. vdf Hochschulverlag AG
Overdevelopment of the countryside, uncontrolled streams of traffic and the consumption of natural resources all of these entail are giving rise to some concern. At first glance, electric vehicles could help at least to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and the emission of CO2. But on closer examination, the potential for conflict created by electromobility is proving to be considerable.
Opportunities and risks of electromobility
There are a number of arguments in favour of increased use of electric vehicles: they do not harm the environment with pollutants, they are noise-free in operation, and they reduce dependency on raw material suppliers, not all of whom are known for their political reliability.
Electromobility gives rise to problems in that Switzerland is unable to cover a sharp rise in demand for electricity with renewable energy sources (such as hydropower, wind and solar energy). The question that would arise is whether Switzerland wishes to build new nuclear power stations itself, or import electricity from nuclear installations abroad. Moreover, the mineral oil tax is the most important source of revenue for financing infrastructure projects for road transport. If this revenue were to disappear, this would have serious consequences either for infrastructure quality or for the government’s funding tools.
Why conduct a study on this subject?
Questions about the organisation of the transport system are a matter of concern for many people. The potential for conflict arising from the subject is likewise obvious, as described above.
Aim of the study
An analysis of the life cycle of electric vehicles from manufacture to disposal will reveal the ecological consequences of increased electromobility for Switzerland.
In addition, scenarios will be outlined which will enable likely developments to be forecast for the near and more distant future (up to 2030) and electromobility to be set within the context of society as a whole. This should ultimately provide answers to questions such as the following:
- What would be the additional consumption of electricity as a result of a realistically estimated market penetration by electric vehicles?
- What would be the expected impact of this on electricity production and marketing?
- What would be the foreseeable consequences for public finances if revenue from the tax on mineral oil fell dramatically / in line with the assumed development of the transport fleet?
- What adjustments to the infrastructure would be necessary to enable electric vehicles to catch on?
- Where are the opportunities and risks of electromobility for individuals, society and the environment?
The study provides for 5 working packages.
- Definition and delimitation of the subject of the investigation and of the system boundaries
- Outline of normative scenarios
- Life-cycle analysis with calculation of the environmental pollution per vehicle kilometre
- Analysis of all those effects that cannot be covered by the life-cycle analysis (social impact, costs, shortage of materials, etc.)
- Recommendations to decision makers
Start of project: July 2011 | Expected end of project: autumn 2012
Results and downloads
Abridged version of the TA-SWISS study
Driving the future
disponibili a completamento del progetto
- Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS
- Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE
- Federal Roads Office FEDRO
- Federal Office for the Environmnet FOEN
TA-SWISS Project Supervisors
- Dr. Lucienne Rey, TA-SWISS. E-Mail
- Dr. Rainer Zah, EMPA, St Gall (Project Manager)
- Hans-Jörg Althaus
- Marcel Gauch, EMPA Dübendorf
- Denise Fussen,
- Peter De Haan, Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zollikon
- Frank Bruns, Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zollikon
- Dr. Ruedi Jörg-Fromm, Zürich, TA-SWISS Steering Committee (chairman of supervisory group)
- Heidi Blattmann, Herrliberg, TA-SWISS Steering Committee
- Christian Bühlmann, Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, Ittigen
- Volker Fröse, Federal Roads Office FEDRO, Bern
- Lino Guzzella, ETH Zürich
- Dr. Stefan Hirschberg, Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, Villigen
- Kurt Hug, University for Applied Science of Berne, Vaufflin
- Christian Jahn, Federal Roads Office FEDRO, Bern
- Mario Keller, INFRAS, Bern
- Dieter Kraft, Bosch, Stuttgart
- Fridolin Stähli, University for Applied Science Northwestern of Switzerland, Windisch
- Prof. Dr. Daniel Wachter, Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE , Bern
- Michael Weber, Federal Office for the Environmnet FOEN, Bern
available at project completion
CH-3011 Bern T + 41 31 310 99 60
F + 41 31 310 99 61
The project in brief
Many expect that electromobility will make the traffic more eco-friendly: after all electrically powered vehicles expel no pollutants, and they move nearly silently. However, battery construction requires environmentally harmful materials, and many disposal issues are still unresolved. The TA-SWISS study examines how electromobility could fit into the Swiss traffic system and which consequences this could have for environment, society and economy.
Timetable: June 2011 - autumn 2012
Project mandataries: Peter De Haan, Basler und Partner AG
Foto: @ koelnmesse