TEXX fast charging station. Image courtesy of SolarCenter Muntwyler.
Because the Swiss government expressly does not see a role for itself in supporting the development of a charging infrastructure, the utilities have taken over the role as active promoters of electric vehicles.
Public charging infrastructure has been most actively promoted by the Electric Vehicle Club Switzerland, a private association of electric vehicle users. According to its system, payment of an annual contribution gives an EV user access to the 120 so-called “park & charge” charging stations.
Moreover, 32 of the stations enable quick charging by providing 32 A/230–400 V outlets. In addition, private citizens and certain companies put their sockets at the disposal of charging subscribers. This adds up to a total of more than 650 listed charging points across Switzerland, visible online at www.lemnet.ch.
For the most part, the local utilities do not charge for the amount of electricity drawn from these “park & charge” stations. Because of this network that grows according to need, there is no big discussion in Switzerland about the “chicken-and-egg problem” of whether there should be a dense charging infrastructure network before or after people are willing to shift to the use of electric vehicles.
However, there are also interest groups that envision a largely electrified car fleet that can also be used for long-distance travelling. The private company TEXX, founded in 2009, started to install charging points at freeway service stations along the north-south Basel–Chiasso transit route. These charging points are now sponsored by local power companies.