Switzerland may ban electric vehicles from non-essential use this winter as government officials begin preparing for an energy crisis in the winter months, according to reports.
The Telegraph reported on Saturday that Swiss officials have drawn up emergency proposals to limit electricity use if the weather turns bad this winter.
For example, shops may have to reduce opening hours, streaming services may have to be limited and buildings may only be heated to 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Other bans, according to the Telegraph, could include concerts, theater performances and sporting events, all to prevent blackouts.
The reason why Switzerland is preparing for possible power outages is that the country is dependent on imported energy during the summer months. While more than half, or 60 percent, of the country’s energy comes from water-powered means, in the winter months production slows down and the country is dependent on imports.
The war in Ukraine has contributed to import shortages across Europe, but together with Switzerland’s dependence on hydropower, the country is, as the Telegraph put it, “vulnerable to energy shortages”.
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The country’s emergency plan is divided into two levels: crisis and preparedness. It also has three levels of restrictions in the first level and two levels of restrictions in the third level.
Swiss officials will activate each tier and level based on supply level. As a minimum, buildings will only be able to be heated to 20 degrees Celsius. As things tighten, electric vehicles will be limited to essential trips and, in the worst case scenario, concerts and sporting events will cease.
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Additional measures such as turning off escalators and holiday lights, silencing leaf blowers, and banning cryptocurrency mining are also included in the plan.