Vote Canton Schwyz – Should motor vehicle taxes be reduced for electric cars? -News


In the canton of Schwyz you have to pay more taxes for electric cars than for petrol and diesel cars. That should change.

Anyone who fills up their car with diesel or petrol in the canton of Schwyz has to pay around 400 francs in motor vehicle tax per year. Anyone who drives an electric car has to pay significantly more: an average of 650 francs per year.

The reason: When calculating motor vehicle taxes today, the weight and performance of the car play a role. And both performance and weight are significantly higher in electric cars.

Different opinions about the sense and nonsense of the change

“It is unfair that you have to pay more taxes for an electric car than for an equivalent gasoline car,” says Willi Kälin from the FDP. This is how you punish people who drive a zero-emission car. Willi Kälin is therefore in favor of a partial revision of the law on motor vehicle taxes. This revision would adjust the assessment criteria.

The cantonal parliament approved the partial revision in April with 58 votes to 34. It is subject to a mandatory referendum.

It is unfair that you have to pay more taxes for an electric car than for an equivalent gasoline car.

For passenger cars and minibuses with an electric motor, it is no longer the power that determines the amount of motor vehicle taxes, but rather only the weight of the vehicle.


Owners of an electric car have to pay more taxes. Whether this will change will be seen on October 22nd.

Keystone/Gaetan Bally

In concrete terms, this means: A driver of a smaller e-Fiat with lower performance would now have to pay 80 francs less per year – the Tesla driver in a high-revving, more powerful sports car would even get 1,000 francs cheaper. This is exactly what angers the opponents of the partial revision.

To put it bluntly, it’s a Tesla template.

The new calculation formula favors the rich, criticizes SVP politician Max Helbling, for example: “To put it bluntly, it is a Tesla template. These high-performance sports cars are massively preferred.” Max Helbling is convinced that families who need a larger and heavier car are on the losing side.

Willi Kälin does not agree with this calculation. Finally, motor vehicle taxes for gasoline and diesel engines remained the same. And anyway: Even if a rich person buys an electric car, they are then actively doing something about CO₂ emissions. “And that should be rewarded, regardless of whether she drives a sports car or not.”

Incentive for more environmentally friendly cars?

There are around 2,700 registered cars in the canton of Schwyz that are powered by electric motors or hydrogen – that’s only two and a half percent of all cars in the canton. By adjusting motor vehicle taxes, advocates hope that more people will switch to electric cars.

Max Helbling does not believe that the lower motor vehicle taxes are increasingly encouraging people to switch to more environmentally friendly cars. The difference with the new calculation for normal motorized cars is not that big.

Costs are something to talk about

If electric cars are taxed more cheaply in the future, the canton of Schwyz would have to forego around 850,000 francs per year. Money that would be missing from the state treasury, says opponent Max Helbling. Supporter Willi Kälin believes there is a lack of money that the canton can absorb.

Reducing the motor vehicle tax for electric cars: What some people think is long overdue, others find unnecessary. The FDP, GLP and SP are for it, the SVP and the center are against it. The decision on changing the motor vehicle tax will be made at the ballot box on October 22nd.

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