Good to know

In Switzerland, transport represents approximately 8% of the household expenses, about 800. - CHF per month. Significant savings are possible. In 2012, there were nearly 5 million cars in Switzerland and 61.3% of the population had one. The road network in Switzerland is longer than 71'000 km.

Traffic in Switzerland has evolved considerably since the 1970s. Indeed, the proportion of cars per 1'000 inhabitants increased by 126%. This chart allows you to see this phenomenon.

Evolution of the number of cars per 1'000 inhabitants
Switch off the engine while you are stopped
Every time your engine idles, you do not travel forwards, but you burn fuel. So turn off your engine when you're stopped at a red light or a level crossing and when you are stuck in traffic jams.
Minimize air conditioning
The use of air conditioning requires additional work from the engine and therefore consumes more gasoline. Try to limit your use on very hot and very cold days, and use only the ventilation or open windows when the temperature is normal. Even if you lose aerodynamics with the Windows open, the overconsumption of fuel due to this loss is lower than the one due to the use of air conditioning.
Limit the load of the vehicle
Each gram in your trunk consumes more fuel.
Check the tire pressure
Low pressurized tires can increase the consumption of fuel up to 4%. Moreover, too low or too high pressure accelerates the wear of the tires.
Use the speed controller/cruise control
Using the cruise control on roads or highways will allow you to stabilize your speed, this will save fuel.
Use the right oil
Be sure to use good oil quality, this will increase the efficiency of the engine. A high-performance vehicle consumes less fuel and rejects less CO2.
Drive smoothly
Avoid abrupt accelerating and braking. This aggressive driving is very bad for your engine and especially for fuel consumption.
Avoid mounting in high RPM
When people drive fast and the engine turns at low RPM, the fuel consumption is reduced. Change gears as quickly as possible, but without hurting the engine at very low revolutions per minutes.
Practice carpooling
To divide your fuel costs, carpool. This method consists in taking other people in your own car; you can then reduce costs by dividing them by the number of people in the car.

Many people wonder how to save fuel in times of crisis. There is one thing we don’t think about: tires! Indeed, tires play an important role in the consumption of a vehicle. The resistance of tires to rolling is worth about 30% of the total consumption.

Car manufacturers have become aware of this phenomenon and Michelin, who was a pioneer in this area, has launched his first generation of tires called ‘green’ in 1991. This first generation allowed to save fuel but it had shortcomings in the road holding. Twenty years and four generations later, according to Michelin this problem is completely solved.

According to Michelin, the fuel saved thanks to the installation of four Michelin Energy Saver reaches 0.2 l/100 km, that is to say 4 grams of CO2. This decrease in consumption generates a saving of 150.- CHF in the average lifespan of the tires, which is estimated at 45'000 km.

Here is a list of green tires, which is by no means exhaustive:

  • Michelin Energy Saver
  • Continental EcoContact
  • GoodYear Efficient Grip
  • Bridgestone Ecopia
  • Hankook Kinergy Eco
  • Yokohama BluEarth

Carpooling consist in sharing his vehicle on occasional or regular drives. It is a friendly, economical and environmental way to travel. Before going for a drive together, drivers and passengers set the amount of each person’s contribution for the drive. Carpooling allows considerable financial savings and decreases in carbon emissions.

Some countries favor carpooling and offer spaces where people can leave their car or wait for their passengers. In Switzerland, there are such spaces.

The practice of carpooling spreads rapidly. It has several advantages:

  • An economical and accessible transportation alternative
  • Transportation costs are shared
  • The traffic is flowing more freely
  • Parking is free
  • Pollution and noise decrease
  • The driver is not alone in the car

Switzerland has a main website of carpool

What is CO2 ?

CO2 or carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The increase in this kind of gases causes the climate change that we are experiencing now; it has a very negative effect on the environment. Talking about CO2, the various means of transport reject this gas.

How to avoid discharging too much CO2 in nature ?

The easiest way to reduce CO2 emissions is to leave one’s car in the garage and to use one’s bike or go on foot. Of course, this is impossible when transporting something big/heavy or when travelling over long distances. For long trips we recommend to use public transport, including the train which discharges low CO2 emissions.

If you have a phobia about public transport, or if you prefer travelling by car because it is more comfortable, try to take passengers and limit the number of drives. This method is called carpool.

Last but not least, another way to limit CO2 emissions is to change one’s old car, including non-catalyzed vehicles which pollute a lot, for a more recent car that emits little carbon dioxide, such as hybrid or electric cars.

Here is the evolution in the history of the electric car

Year Event
1830 The businessman Scottish Robert Anderson Matcha developed the first electric vehicle, which looks rather like a kind of sleigh
1891 The American William Morrison built the first electric car thirty years after the intervention of the rechargeable lead acid battery
1897 Establishment in New York of a taxi company. In 1900, its 1000, only electric vehicles ply the streets
1900 More than a third of cars in circulation are electric. Other cars run on gasoline or the steam
1908 The placing on the market of Ford T in petrol, two times cheaper, led to the gradual disappearance of the electric
1966 To reduce the pollution the American Congress encourages the construction of four-wheeled without fuel but the production doesn’t take off
1997 Nearly a hundred years after the presentation of the first hybrid model in Liège, Toyota launched the Prius, produced in series
2011 The Bolloré group implements "Autolib", a service of electric automobiles in self-service (or autoportage) in Paris

Ecological Balance

The electric car is considered by many as the future of the automobile. Despite all the advantages that it gives, it has a mixed ecological balance. Judge yourself by reading our comparison table below.

+ -
Simple operation, fewer parts, less failures Extraction of lithium (main component of batteries) has an impact on the environment. It contains solvents and causes acid rain and droughts
No emission of CO2 by rolling The production of electricity emits CO2
Durability of the car 3 x higher than gasoline and diesel engines The price of the vehicles is still very high
The electric consumption is not very high. Over one year, with 12’000 annual km, the consumption is lower than an electric water heater The lithium is rare. Supply will go to term, through the use of recycled lithium