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A look ahead to the electrified mobility of the DDPS

In 2019, the Federal Council developed the «Federal Government’s Climate Package», an ambitious roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the federal government. Each administrative unit in the federal government is obliged to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. An important step on this path is the electrification of administration vehicles and the parallel setup of an efficient charging infrastructure.

Real Estate, Department of Environmental Management, Norms and Standards, Cédric Fridez | Land Systems, Department of Commerce Order, Kurt Etter

Kurt Etter and Cédric Fridez are standing at the tram stop at Guisanplatz. In the background you can see the armasuisse area AC G1.


Kurt Etter and Cédric Fridez work at armasuisse in the areas of Land Systems and Real Estate Management. We asked them how the future of e-mobility stands in the DDPS department.

Mr. Etter, why is the government currently electrifying a part of its vehicle fleet?

The government is aware of its role model status. It wants to shape the future through an active approach, which has led to the new policy of acquiring mainly purely electrically driven passenger cars and delivery vans for the vehicle fleet. The goals require committed action: With the newly registered administration vehicles up to 3.5 tons, at least 20% must be electrically driven by the end of 2022. In addition, passenger cars must be in the two most energy-efficient categories (category A or B of the energy label of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy).

And how will the roadmap from 2022 look?

Over the next few years, the supply of purely electrically driven vehicle models will steadily increase in the market. The climate package’s specification for new registrations by 2022 is an absolute minimum requirement. In order to reach the DDPS’ declared reduction goal of 40% of CO2, we must consistently focus on purely electrically driven vehicles.
The quota of electrically driven vehicles is expected to increase again by 20% during the period between 2022 and 2025, and by a further 30% up to 2030. Thus at least 70% of our administration vehicles will be completely electrified in the next ten years, corresponding to around 2100 electric vehicles.

How many tons of CO2 will be saved in this manner? And does the electrification of the vehicle fleet offer further advantages?

If we assume that a typical administration vehicle covers 15,000 kilometres a year, then a purely electrically driven vehicle emits around 2.3 tons less CO2 than a comparable vehicle with a combustion engine. Thus around 1200 litres of diesel or petrol can be saved for each vehicle, each year. A further advantage of electrical vehicles (known as Battery Electrical Vehicles) which should not be underestimated is the comparatively low operating cost. They are also quieter and thus make a considerable contribution to low-noise mobility. 

Mr. Fridez, you are faced with the task of setting up a DDPS-wide network with charging stations for electrical vehicles. Where do you start?

We need to plan a charging network over the entire life cycle of an electrical vehicle and establish it all over Switzerland. I am part of an interdisciplinary team at armasuisse Real Estate which has accepted this challenging task. From a technical point of view, numerous recommendations, which we have tailored to the needs of the DDPS, are already available from the manufacturers and the technical bodies. We are now testing the charging infrastructure in a pilot project up to the end of 2021.

What kind of insights do you hope to gain from the pilot project and where are the greatest challenges?

The pilot project will be implemented by the specialist department Construction Management East at locations all over Switzerland, which will have as many different requirements and infrastructures as possible. In the pilot project, we are laying the foundations for testing the relatively new technology in operation.
The project’s challenges lie in the complexity of the numerous requirements. We need to take into account the most diverse topics, for example, the digitalisation of processes, of billing (meter to cash). At the same time, we must be able to guarantee legal security for users, investors and system landscapes of manufacturers. We need to develop these issues in as short a time as possible, and learn quickly from the experiences we have made. This is the only way we can meet the high expectations our users have of the charging infrastructure of the future.

Will I also be able to charge my private vehicle at the DPPS charging stations in the future?

That isn’t possible at the moment. Service vehicles of up to 3.5 tons, which are used by professional military employees, have the most urgent priority. In further steps, charging facilities will then also be created for other user groups. This is, by the way, already being tested in the pilot project mentioned earlier.

Finally a question to both of you: Which means of transport do you personally use in your private and professional life?

Kurt Etter: I combine public transport with my own electric car. I therefore continue to be as flexible as I was before, while also making a contribution to the environment.
Cédric Fridez: I’m a convert! Since I changed my job, I have mutated from a convinced combustion engine fan to an almost invariable electric vehicle user. I mainly travel to work by train these days or by public transport in general. Privately, I have also discovered the e-mountain bike, although I only switch on the battery for support on the way back from a tour if possible.

Brief profile Kurt Etter

Kurt Etter works in the competence sector Land Systems at armasuisse and is responsible for procuring administration vehicles and delivery vans up to 3.5 tons total weight for the entire federal administration.

Brief profile Cédric Fridez

Cédric Fridez works at armasuisse Real Estate in the specialist area Environmental Management, Standards and Norms as an electrical consultant, «Instrumentation and Control» (MSRL) and protection from «Electromagnetic Pulses» (EMP).

armasuisse Immobilien Guisanplatz 1
CH-3003 Bern
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