On the road
As of September 2010, the total vehicle fleet in Switzerland numbered about 9,700,000, including motorized bicycles. Passenger vehicles only are estimated to total 4,400,000. The sales of hybrid models continue to grow. There are now 18,000 HEVs on Swiss roads, an increase of more than 60% since the end of 2008. It is expected that the new hybrid models (e.g., the Prius III, especially the family version, or the Toyota Auris) will provide additional stimulus to the market. The number of EVs is around 88,480, the vast majority of which are motorized bicycles, and about 1,000 of which are estimated to be passenger vehicles.
E-bikes and Pedelecs
Switzerland has a highly successful market for assisted e-bikes and pedelecs. More than 85,000 e-bikes are currently on the Swiss roads, and 7% of all bicycles sold in 2010 have an electric drive. Swiss companies have also developed the new category of high-speed pedelecs combining human power with electric-motor power. Their sales figures have doubled every year and achieved a market share of 11.2% of all new bikes sold in 2010.The market is still open for new products that address the smartphone generation in style and design above all.
As of 2010, several electric vehicle models were available in Switzerland. The company Kamoo converts gasoline cars to electric drive and currently sells conversion models of the Renault TWINGO and small FIAT models.The THINK City is only delivered in procurement schemes, but the cars can now be ordered by individual customers at the Migros “m-way”.
Swiss importers of the new electric vehicle models such as the Mitsubishi i MiEV, the Nissan Leaf and others, are not enthusiastic about marketing models that offer an electric vehicle purchase with separate battery leasing contracts, as will be the case for Renault vehicles in France. According to them, this does not correspond with the need of the customers to have one contract and warranty for a fully functioning car. This seems to be in line with the visions of EV manufacturer representatives. However, a solution of Swiss electricity suppliers is to set up new networks of “electric mobility operators” that care for the acquisition of the electric vehicle as well as the “energy supply”—the package of battery together with the electricity needed for the contracted period. This means that parallel or even different structures of electric vehicle distribution channels can emerge.