Innovation & technology

The future is electric

It is not just racing cars that are now being powered by electricity – more than 40% of Swiss Post’s vehicle fleet is already battery-operated. Is electromobility the key to the future?

Sandra Gonseth

The electric racing cars sped through Berne on 22 June at a quiet 80 decibels. The E-Prix demonstrates what can be achieved using electricity: the racing cars can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under two seconds and can reach top speeds of up to 260 km/h. But Formula E also shows how quickly this technology can be developed when coupled with the pressure to succeed. The batteries are now almost twice as powerful as when the series was launched five years ago. This means drivers no longer need to switch cars at half-time. Read our interview with Neel Jani, the most successful Swiss racing car driver, here.

More than a racing series

There is a lot more to Formula E than just racing. It is also a platform for manufacturers to develop drives for electric vehicles and bring this technology to the roads. After all, electric vehicles will play a key role in the mobility of the future. Of this Jörg Beckmann is convinced, as you can find out in his interview. But how environmentally friendly are electric vehicles in reality? “They are as clean as the electricity that powers them,” explains Beckmann. This has been shown by every recognized research institute in Europe. “The overall environmental impact demonstrates that electric cars always score better than combustion engine vehicles.”

Fully electrified

Swiss Post has been promoting electromobility for many years as part of its corporate responsibility strategy. An important step forward in continuing to increase CO2 efficiency. Out of more than 14,500 vehicles, 6,600 are already powered by electricity. Swiss Post is in fact the first company in the world to introduce three-wheeled electric scooters for letter delivery on such a wide scale. Its fleet of scooters is now 100% electrified. Electric drive systems are also ideal for parcel delivery, with all the stopping and starting this service entails.

Dieter Bambauer, Head of PostLogistics, signs the roadmap in December 2018.

Ambitious goals

Swiss Post is also supporting the Swiss Confederation’s “Electromobility Roadmap 2022”. In doing so, it is helping to increase the proportion of newly registered passenger vehicles that run on electric power to 15 percent by 2022. It is even going a step further by signing the global climate initiative “EV100” (electric vehicles): Post CH Ltd wants to convert its entire delivery vehicle fleet (up to 3.5 tonnes) to electricity by 2030 – provided the available market options and operating circumstances allow. You can read more about how Swiss Post intends to implement this initiative on this platform next week.  

Did you know?

As of 1 July 2019, new electric and hybrid cars need to generate artificial engine noise when travelling between 0 and 20 km/h. This Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) is a new requirement which applies throughout Europe, including Switzerland. The noise must be between 55 and 75 decibels, which is still quieter than most petrol or diesel engines. “We welcome this regulation, especially with a view to the needs of blind and visually-impaired people,” says Marc Kipfer of the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (bfu study on this topic). When travelling at higher speeds (above 20 km/h), the noise produced by the tyres is enough to alert pedestrians of an approaching electric vehicle.

written by

Sandra Gonseth