Facing Unprecedented Power Shortage, Swiss Contemplate Partial Ban on Use of Electric Vehicles

The Most Revolutionary Act

Schöne Aussichten? Windräder, wie hier in Rammertshofen, sind in Bayern eine Seltenheit. Quelle: SZ-Photo

Eugippius

It turns out that you can have battery-powered cars, or you can have renewable energy, but you can’t have both.

The Swiss Confederation usually imports electricity from France and Germany to keep the lights on over the winter, but this year neither country has any power to spare. Many French nuclear power plants are down after years of postponed maintenance, while in Germany we suffer from a superfluity of idle wind turbines and a (self-imposed) shortage of natural gas.

The Federal Council of Switzerland has therefore published draft legislation, which outlines four tiers of escalating measures to conserve electricity and avert potential blackouts. The first prescribes a lot of temperature restrictions for things like refrigerators and washing machines. The second includes more unusual rules, such as the demand that heating in clubs and discotheques “be set to the lowest level or switched off completely,” and that…

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