Starting from January 1, 2024, electric vehicles in Switzerland will no longer be exempt from automobile taxes. This decision was made during the Federal Council meeting on November 8, 2023, after reviewing public feedback. The aim of this change is to address tax revenue shortfalls and ensure funds for the national highway and urban transport.
Under the current Vehicle Duty Act, a 4% tax applies to passenger and goods transport vehicles, with the revenue earmarked for transportation infrastructure. Since 1997, e-vehicles have enjoyed an exemption from this tax, initially designed to incentivize electric mobility.
The landscape has evolved significantly, with e-vehicle imports increasing nearly sixfold from 2018 to 2022. In the first half of 2023, over 30,400 e-vehicles were imported, constituting about 23% of total imports. This surge in e-vehicles has led to a substantial decrease in tax revenue. In 2022, the tax shortfall was around CHF 78 million, and the current year is expected to see a shortfall of CHF 100 million to CHF 150 million. The estimated cumulative shortfall from 2024 to 2030 would have been CHF 2 billion to CHF 3 billion if the exemption continued.
Starting from January 1, 2024, e-vehicles will be subject to the standard 4% tax. This decision aligns with industry expectations of price parity with traditional vehicles by 2025 without increasing consumer prices or requiring government subsidies.
The Federal Council sees this change as a necessary step due to the evolving market conditions and its broader budget plan. The decision will bolster the federal budget and reduce the dependency on mineral oil tax revenue for the national transportation fund, saving up to CHF 150 million annually.