According to article 44 of the Energy Act (EnG), the Federal Council can regulate how uniform and comparable details of the specific energy consumption of mass-produced cars are made available. Rules for product declaration for new cars are contained in appendix 4.1 of the Ordinance on Energy Efficiency (SR 730.02). The Ordinance on Energy Efficiency contains the detailed regulations of the Energy Act (SR 730.0).
The main purpose of the energy label is to provide transparent information to customers on which to base a decision to buy thus leading to a reduction in energy consumption of newly registered cars and of CO2 emissions by private vehicles.
The energy label can be prepared by entering the type approval number/category number (TA number) on this Web site. If no type approval number/category number (TA number) is available, players in the commercial sector can apply to the SFOE and request access via a specially developed online tool.
New car dealers receive the type approval number from the vehicle importer and can pass this on to the buyer. The TA number is also entered on the test report (13.20A) and in field 24 on the vehicle registration certificate. If a vehicle has been imported directly or is a sole registration, an X appears in field 24.
The legal requirements for the energy label and for type approval of cars apply to the new car trade in Switzerland. When a vehicle is purchased or directly imported from abroad, the type approval number that the cantons need to calculate the vehicle road tax is usually always missing. In such cases please consult the responsible cantonal office.
If homologation (type approval) has not yet taken place or if the type approval number is missing for some other reason, a provisional/manual energy label can be prepared for the vehicle. To prepare a provisional/manual number, players in the commercial sector can apply to the SFOE and request access via a specially developed online tool.
The consumption data and unladen weight are as indicated on the type approval certificate/technical data sheet of the model of vehicle concerned. If a number of variants of the same model are indicated on the type approval/technical data sheet with the same unladen weight, the efficiency category is determined on the basis of the highest fuel consumption shown for each model.
At the point of sale the label must be displayed in a clearly visible manner directly on the vehicle or in its immediate vicinity. The label could also be shown on a screen, in which case the energy label must be displayed on the default screen. It may not be hidden when the screen is in stand-by mode, by a screen saver or in any other way. If further information about the car is presented digitally, the screen has to change automatically to the default setting after 20 seconds. The energy label has to be directly retrievable from every setting on the screen. The energy label also has to be displayed in advertising and in online configurator tools as shown in the template.
According to EU guidelines a booklet (consumption catalogue) is made available providing information to consumers about the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and the effect such have on the environment, and technical factors (air-conditioning, driving with headlights, tyre pressure, engine maintenance) and non-technical factors (style of driving, flow of traffic, unnecessary loads), which have an effect on the fuel consumption of new cars. In addition, the consumption catalogue contains a list of the new cars available. It is available online or as a free download in Pdf format from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
An inspection body working on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy carries out numerous annual random checks of the new car trade. In addition, price lists and a selection of advertising material are also evaluated systematically. If infringements of the ordinance are detected by its own control procedures, or if any are referred to it by third parties, fines of up to CHF 100'000 can be imposed by the federal office on the basis of the Energy Act.
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions of cars have to be measured in compliance with article 97 paragraph 5 VTS. With the car on a test bench a defined stretch of road is simulated and in the course of the test CO2 emissions are determined in city traffic, on an open road, and overall, and then the fuel consumption is calculated.
To determine the limits of each energy efficiency category from A–G, all types of vehicles offered for sale are categorised according to consumption in the form of petrol equivalents for primary energy in ascending order and then divided into seven equally large sectors. The upper limits of the energy efficiency categories A–F are determined according to the consumption in the form of a petrol equivalent for primary energy of the last car indicated in the corresponding sector.
The calculation method for determining efficiency categories was adapted with effect from 1 January 2020. As a consequence, the unladen weight of a vehicle is no longer taken into account. In addition, customer information (e.g. price lists, energy labels) now displays values that have been calculated under the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure WLTP. Due to this change in the calculation method, consumption values are higher. However, the increase varies, depending on the model of vehicle. These adjustments mean that the energy efficiency class may vary compared with previous years. Models with a low unladen weight, for example, may now be assigned a better energy efficiency category than in the previous year.
An additional 100 kg in weight can increase consumption by about 0.5 l/100 km. The style of driving (economic or aggressive) and the prevailing conditions (city and suburban traffic or long distance travel) as well as use of air-conditioning, tyre pressure, loads and roof racks all have an impact on consumption.
The energy efficiency of your electric vehicle is measured on the basis of the vehicle’s electricity consumption. For example, the primary energy consumption of your electric vehicle is compared with the primary energy consumption of a diesel vehicle and as a result your electric vehicle could be less efficient than the diesel vehicle. Allocation to a category takes place solely on the basis of the energy consumption and is not based on any other environmental factors, such as CO2 emissions.
On the label for gas and ethanol vehicles a difference is made between climate relevant and absolute CO2 emissions. This has no direct influence on the calculation of efficiency categories, but it is the energy consumption of the vehicle that is significant.
The energy efficiency for plug-in vehicles or vehicles that are partly powered by electricity with batteries that can be charged through the electricity grid is calculated by adding the fuel consumption and the electricity consumption together.
Energy labels for second-hand cars are provided voluntarily. In contrast to the requirement for new vehicles, there is no legal regulation requiring the dealer to attach a label to second-hand cars. The dealer can decide in his own right whether to attach a label to a second-hand car or not.
The energy label for second-hand cars is prepared on the basis of the most recent type approval data with the currently valid category limits. The details may differ from those in the vehicle registration certificate. If errors are found, the importer is responsible for notifying FEDRO in the usual manner about a change in the type approval details.
The indirect aim of both is to at least reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. There is no direct link between both measures. The energy label is a source of information assisting buyers in the purchase of energy efficient vehicles while the emission regulations place the responsibility for reducing CO2 emissions on the importers. It is possible for a vehicle in category A to emit more than 95 g CO2/km and thus exceed the target set in the emission regulations.
Since 1 January 2020, customer information about the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions have been presented on the basis of values obtained using the WTLP. If no WTLP values are available for a model of vehicle, NEFZ values will be given on the energy label.
Instead of showing the average CO2 emissions for recently registered new vehicles, for the first time the energy label now shows the target for such vehicles. The target is 95 g/km for models of cars with NEFZ values. A mark-up of 21% is added on the label for vehicles measured by the WLTP to take account of the change in measurement standard (from NEFZ to WLTP). This value is based on a study carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) which has modelled the impact of the change to the WLTP standard. (source: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC107662)
As soon as a definite WLTP target is available this will be integrated into the energy label; this will happen sometime in the future.
In the first place the energy label is an instrument which informs people purchasing vehicles about the vehicle’s efficiency and the climate-relevant CO2 emissions from the vehicle. It also facilitates comparison of vehicles powered by different types of fuels with respect to energy efficiency.
The energy label provides information about the energy consumption of the vehicle in the customary unit (litres, cubic metres or kilowatt-hours) per 100 km for the type of energy used. It also shows the CO2 emissions in g/km in driving mode in relation to the target for all new cars sold. The efficiency category (A – G) indicates what the vehicle definitely consumes. In addition, a number of technical aspects figure on the label, such as the unladen weight, the type of propulsion, the net power and the type approval number.
Allocation to one of the consumption categories from A–G is done on the basis of the petrol equivalents for the primary energy. Petrol equivalents for the primary energy are used (well to wheel approach, that is from the energy source to the wheel) to compare the energy consumption of different types of drive systems.
The regulation applies to all mass-produced cars with a total weight of up to 3,500 kg with a maximum of nine seats which have completed no more than 2,000 kilometres. The type approval/data sheet for these vehicles begins with the number “1”. Vehicles not subject to the energy label regulation include delivery vans, lorries, motorcycles and special-purpose vehicles.
To calculate the efficiency category, an evaluation of cars is made based on the entire chain from the energy source to the wheel (well to wheel). To facilitate comparison of the primary energy consumption of drive systems using different energy carriers (petrol, diesel, gas, electricity) such carriers are converted to equivalents of petrol.
Anyone offering cars for sale online that have completed less than 2,000 kilometres is subject to the regulation to display the information required by appendix 4.1 of the Ordinance on Energy Efficiency. This stipulates the consumption in l/100 km, CO2 emissions in gm/km, the energy efficiency category, and the visual layout of the label (according to the template). In the case of cars with type approval for use of mixes of fossil and biogenic fuels offered throughout the whole of Switzerland, the total CO2 emissions and the proportion of fossil energy consumed should be shown because this is relevant for the climate.
The State does not pay any direct subsidies toward the purchase of an energy efficient vehicle? The Swiss Federal Office of Energy promotes the use of energy efficient vehicles by supplying information and communicating about such within the SwissEnergy programme. However, financial benefits for efficient vehicles are granted by some cantons and municipalities as well as by the insurance and the gas industries. See the overview of these benefits on this Web page.
Some cantons use the energy label as the basis for rebates on cantonal road tax. Road tax is collected by the canton and the State has no influence on how this tax is arranged. However, as a service to car buyers who want to make a responsible choice, we provide a table of rebates and reductions offered by the cantons. The exact details of the conditions have to be obtained from the canton in question. Please make direct contact with the appropriate canton.
From the point of view of energy conservation and climate protection you should look for the vehicle with the lowest fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. To maintain its neutrality in the matter, the State cannot make any recommendations about the purchase of any specific vehicle or vehicle type. However, as part of the SwissEnergy programme, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy promotes energy efficient vehicles by providing advice to help you make a purchase decision.