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Switzerland mulls electric car ban during energy emergencies

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Switzerland is considering imposing a ban on electric vehicle use if energy supplies drastically dip as the country braces for a cold winter.

It is one of several emergency proposals drafted by the Swiss government and has not been adopted into law.

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The plan from Switzerland's federal council, the country's executive branch, proposes restricting the use of electric vehicles to "absolutely necessary" trips including grocery shopping and doctor visits during severe energy shortages.

But it only suggests implementing such a ban under what’s known as a “Stage 3” emergency, which would also include restricting household temperatures to 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). At the highest level of an energy crisis the government also suggests banning sporting and theater events, as well as restricting people from using streaming services like Netflix.

It is unlikely the electric vehicle ban will come into force this winter, according to Forbes magazine, which says non-electric vehicles face the greater risk of gasoline shortages given that Russia's war in Ukraine is disrupting oil shipments.

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Russia's war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions and embargoes have caused energy prices to skyrocket across the world and particularly in Europe, where 40% of natural gas imports come from Russia, according to Reuters.

European leaders are scrambling to calm citizens as countries begin to implement new energy conservation measures to ensure households have adequate heat for the winter.

Switzerland is particularly reliant on energy imports during the winter as 60% of its energy comes from hydroelectric sources, according to The Telegraph, and dams cannot produce the required energy when water freezes over.

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