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Swiss car importer pledges to end petrol vehicle sales

The proportion of electric cars is increasing on Swiss roads. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Switzerland’s largest car importer, AMAG, plans to sell purely electric powered vehicles from 2040 and is diversifying into solar systems and heat pumps.

AMAG, which imports cars and sells them to dealerships, said on Tuesday that it will acquire Swiss photovoltaic pioneer Helion to help its conversion to a renewable energy business.

The takeover will create a new Energy & Mobility division within AMAG. “We want to increasingly produce the electricity that operates the electric vehicles we sell to our partners,” said AMAG CEO Helmut Ruhl.

The company has a long-term plan to use car electric batteries to store solar power and help stabilise the national power grid by providing a back-up during shortages.

Helion’s heat pump business will continue under its new ownership, which is expected to be finalised in November. AMAG plans to sell the sustainable heating systems to households that install photovoltaic systems to charge their cars.

AMAG wants to achieve a climate neutral footprint by 2040, which involves increasing the proportion of electric vehicle sales to 70% of its total sales by 2030 and phasing out all fossil fuel cars by 2040.

Earlier this year, Swiss car-sharing company Mobility said it will electrify its 3,000 strong fleet of vehicles and build a network of plug-in charging points around the country.

Mobility has also pledged to be climate neutral as a company by 2040 and has embarked on a project to feed power from 50 electric vehicles back into the power grid.

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