Switzerland to develop electric vehicle infrastructure

Switzerland is moving towards electric vehicles and an associated recharging infrastructure through a partnership with Swiss electric utility company Energie Ouest Suisse (EOS) and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the two parties will study ways of implementing and maintaining a battery-charging network throughout the country. The MOU also intends to define the terms and conditions for the supply by the Alliance of electric vehicles to EOS for use in its fleet.

EOS and the Alliance will also create and support educational activities to promote the use of electric vehicles.

EOS, which produces 85% of its electricity from hydropower, is the first company for the Alliance to tie up with in Switzerland – the headquarters of Nissan’s European operations – for a zero-emissions programme.

“For EOS, the introduction of electric vehicles brings a forward-looking response to Switzerland’s energy and climate challenge,” said Hans Schweickardt, CEO of EOS. Indeed, as the second-largest emitter of CO2 after heating (43%), transportation accounts for 33% (16 million tons) of the country’s total green-house gas emissions.

Replacing 15% of Switzerland’s cars by 2020 with electric vehicles would reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector by 1.1 million tons per year, or a reduction of around 7%.

“We are delighted to be partnering with a clean energy specialist like EOS and look forward to working together to create the infrastructure and conditions for zero-emission mobility in Switzerland,” said Carlos Tavares, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

In Europe, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has begun zero emission initiatives with Israel, Denmark, Portugal, the Principality of Monaco and the French utility company EDF. In the US, the Alliance has partnered with the State of Tennessee, the State of Oregon and Sonoma County in northern California. In Japan, the Alliance has a partnership with the Prefecture of Kanagawa and the City of Yokohama in Japan.