Monday, March 25, 2013

Where's Wally? - Looking for EV's in Switzerland

My last trip was to Switzerland, one of the few countries in Europe where it's usual to see V6 and V8 powered cars running around the streets, and there i spent some time looking for EV's. When i said that to my swiss colleagues, they looked at me in a strange way and said: "EV's?!? But...Why?...You don't have by any chance a Prius, do you?". When i asked why, they answered me: "Well, here in Switzerland they say that the Prius is for gays..."

With this provocation in mind, i started to look for EV's and wanted to see if those preconceptions were widespread, here's what i found:

Mitsubishi I-Miev - The first EV i saw was a I-Miev in the Geneva Airport running around between lanes and airplanes and if you come to think of it, it's a smart use for EV's, small distances, low speeds, it's like a electric car heaven. The second (and last) car i saw from the I-Miev family was also a company car, so...No private sales here.

Renault Twizy -  The tiny Twizy is different and therefore a good way for companies to advertise, so the few i saw in the middle of big cities had company decals, making express deliveries at the same time they were used as mobile bilboards. And still no private buyers...

Opel Ampera - The one i saw apparently was a private car and after making a remark that the Opel had a plug, the guy that was with me said: "Wow, nice!...It doesn't look like an electric car!". When i asked him about how an electric car looks like, he answered: "Well, you know...Small, slow, flimsy...".

So, for private EV sales to increase here, they should suit the swiss tastes for SUV's and Sport(y) cars. Tesla has a good chance here to shine...

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