EV Charging Index: Expert insight from Switzerland

EV Charging Index: Expert insight from Switzerland

July 28, 2023

Switzerland aims for consensus rather than regulation to expand its charging infrastructure

EVs are becoming increasingly popular among Switzerland’s eco-conscious consumers. The number of public charge points is rising quickly, but residential charging is lagging behind. Rather than impose strict regulations, the Swiss government hopes to create consensus among industry players

What are the current key trends within EV adoption in Switzerland?

The growing desire for sustainability among consumers is a key driver for EV adoption in Switzerland. With almost 100% of the country’s electricity generated from non-fossil-fuel sources (particularly hydro and nuclear), EV driving in Switzerland meets this aspiration. Swiss citizens’ purchasing power means premium EVs from the likes of Tesla, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes and Audi are particularly popular.

How would you describe the charging infrastructure?

The number of public charging stations offered by utilities companies, petrol station operators, public parking firms and local governments is rising quickly. However, the expansion of private charging stations in apartment buildings is failing to keep up. Switzerland is a country of renters: at the end of 2021, 2.4 million households lived in rented housing, compared to 1.4 million households living in properties they own. Financing is often a problem, while the more pressing issue of housing demand in Switzerland currently overshadows the lack of available charging infrastructure.

What sort of changes do you expect in charging infrastructure and how will they affect EV adoption?

The Swiss government expects more than half of vehicles on the road to be electric by 2035 (2.8 million vehicles). This will require considerable expansion of the country’s charging infrastructure over the next decade. Rather than impose strict regulations, the Swiss energy department aims to create a consensus between all the parties involved, including automotive infrastructure providers, real estate owners, utilities and other energy managers.

To expand the charging infrastructure, 2 million extra charge points will be required at homes and in public and private parking spaces, as these are the most frequently used. This will not be a foregone conclusion: it requires incentives, technical planning, and investment security. Vehicle owners without charging options at home or at work – between 400,000 and 1 million EVs – need an accessible charging network, preferably near their homes. In total, the country will need 84,000 generally accessible charging points – currently, there are 10,000.

The additional electricity demand of 7.3TWh in 2035 is higher than once anticipated, but fossil fuel consumption is also reducing quickly. Tariff incentives and the marketing of idle charging points, among other things, should help promote a balanced use of charging stations. The government is working to adapt its national energy strategy, although strong state intervention is unlikely. Switzerland is largely governed at a federal level, which has proved successful in other areas of business and public life.

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EV Charging Index: Expert insight from Switzerland


Switzerland is focusing on consensus over regulation to expand its EV charging infrastructure. Discover how in Roland Berger’s latest EV Charging Index.

Published July 2023. Available in
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Portrait of Sven Siepen
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Switzerland
Zurich Office, Central Europe
+41 79 792-7374