Research - 11.06.2024 - 09:00 

Swiss Mobility Monitor 2024 on the price of new mobility

Price before sustainability – this is the priority for the Swiss population when choosing a means of transport. Also, one third are reluctant to use self-driving vehicles. These are the findings of a representative study conducted by the Universities of Lucerne and St.Gallen.

The third edition of the Swiss Mobility Monitor shows how the population living in Switzerland gets around and how their mobility behaviour has changed compared to the previous year. The new edition focuses on the price of autonomous, i.e. driverless, and sustainable mobility. The study, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Reto Hofstetter of the University of Lucerne and Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann of the University of St.Gallen, was conducted in collaboration with Zurich Insurance Company and AutoScout24 (SMG).

Sustainability must be affordable

Switzerland is increasingly moving in the direction of sustainable mobility. But here, too, price continues to play a decisive role. Costs are the top priority for respondents, even when it comes to environmentally friendly options. Even if there is a willingness to spend more money on sustainable mobility, a shorter journey time is expected first. Sustainability plays a subordinate role.

This is also clearly reflected in the perception of the prices of electric cars, which are perceived as rather unfair. Only 14% of respondents are prepared to spend CHF 45,000 or more on an electric car, which corresponds to the price of the current best-selling model in Switzerland (Tesla Model Y). In addition to electric cars, hybrid vehicles are also gaining in popularity, while the proportion of petrol and diesel vehicles is falling.

Furthermore, the switch to electric cars is not just a question of cost for Generation Z, but also a lifestyle decision. While factors such as lower prices, lower charging costs and greater range are important for all generations, Generation Z also wants an electric car to fit in with their own lifestyle.

Currently, the majority of respondents would not buy an autonomous car

A third of the Swiss population cannot currently imagine buying a self-driving car. When asked how much they would currently be prepared to spend on one, this proportion of study participants said ‘CHF 0’. In the lower price segment in particular, the willingness to invest in autonomous vehicles is extremely low, while in the upper price segment (over CHF 40,000) it is comparable to the willingness to pay for conventional cars.

In addition, large sections of the Swiss population associate autonomous means of transport with a loss of control, particularly in the case of private vehicles, while there are fewer concerns about public transport. The willingness to use autonomous public transport is also higher than for private autonomous vehicles. The survey also shows that consumers feel less responsible for their vehicle, its occupants and the traffic when using autonomous private vehicles than when using conventional cars.

Although the use of autonomous mobility in Switzerland is still low, it is steadily increasing – from just under 2% in 2022 to over 3% in 2024. Fully autonomous mobility, such as the SkyMetro at Zurich Airport, is currently only available in a few cases in Switzerland. However, in October last year, the Federal Council decided to partially revise the Road Traffic Act in order to create a legal framework for autonomous driving on roads. This means that autonomous cars without drivers could become a reality in the near future.

Background to the study

At around 70 pages, the report provides detailed insights into the spread of mobility innovations and greater acceptance among the Swiss population. The full report can be ordered from the Swiss Consumer Studies website. Selected results are available for download as a one-pager.

The data for the Swiss Mobility Monitor was taken from a representative online survey of 1037 Swiss residents aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted between 28 February and 11 March 2024 under the direction of YouGov. The Swiss Mobility Monitor is part of the Swiss Consumer Studies of the Institute of Marketing and Analytics (IMA) at the University of Lucerne. With the Swiss Consumer Studies, the IMA publishes studies on current topics of digital consumer behaviour and digital marketing at regular intervals.

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