Electricity shortage: Switzerland could ban the use of electric cars this winter

Will our Swiss neighbors be able to travel by electric car this winter? The answer is not so obvious. A prescriptionin consultation until December 12, 2022, presents several measures to deal with the possible shortage of electrical energy during the cold season.

Individuals limited in their movements

The document of the Federal Council, the Swiss executive body, relayed by our colleagues fromAutomotive Magazine, presents a list of measures applicable in the event of voltage on the electrical network. Indeed, the Swiss Confederation is not able to produce in sufficient quantity and, in normal times, imports electricity, in particular from Germany and France. However, these two countries could themselves lack electricity. It is therefore impossible to count on these sources of supply.

In order to avoid the blackout scenario, Switzerland is working on radical measures. Faced with strong electricity demand, our neighbors could in particular prohibit journeys by private electric car.

When passing alert level 3, “private use of electric cars is only permitted for absolutely necessary journeys”, says the order. Motorists using their vehicle would be exempted “for the exercise of a profession, to make purchases and to go to the doctor, to religious events or court hearings”. So many reasons that recall the travel certificates during the confinement linked to Covid-19 in France.

Streaming in SD, cooling of data centers at 25° C

Among the other provisions mentioned, Switzerland could regulate the use of digital in the event of tension on the network, at level 2 of alert. Power-hungry streaming services would be forced to switch the resolution of content to standard definition (SD, 720p) in order to reduce the overall bandwidth on the Swiss Internet.

Even more draconian, the authorities could cap the temperature in the “server rooms” and the “computing centers”. Buildings that house these devices could not be refrigerated below 25°C. Due to the concentration of machines in the same room, data centers heat up and cooling systems are active to avoid a harmful temperature for the equipment, consuming a large amount of electricity.

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