The price of new mobility

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 (Image: Pixabay CC0)
(Image: Pixabay CC0)

For the Swiss population, price is more important than sustainability when choosing a means of transportation, and the intention to purchase self-driving vehicles is still low. These are the findings of a representative study on mobility behavior in Switzerland 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 behavior has changed compared to the previous year. A particular focus is on the price of autonomous, i.e. completely driverless, and sustainable mobility. The study, under the scientific direction of Reto Hofstetter (University of Lucerne) and Andreas Herrmann (University of St. Gallen), was carried out in collaboration with Zurich Insurance Company and AutoScout24 (SMG).

You have to be able to afford sustainability

Switzerland is increasingly moving in the direction of sustainable mobility, but price plays a decisive role in the choice of environmentally friendly means of transportation. For those surveyed, costs are the top priority, even for environmentally friendly options. Even if there is a willingness to spend more money on sustainable mobility, people initially expect a shorter journey. In contrast, sustainability still plays a subordinate role.
This is also clearly reflected in the perception of prices for 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 currently best-selling model in Switzerland (Tesla Model Y). In addition to electric cars, hybrid cars are also gaining in popularity, while the proportion of petrol and diesel cars is falling.
Furthermore, the switch to electric cars is not just a question of cost for Generation Z, but also a lifestyle decision. Factors such as lower prices, lower charging costs and a longer range are important across all generations, but for Generation Z, the electric car should also fit in with their own lifestyle.

The majority would not yet buy an autonomous car

A third of the Swiss population cannot currently imagine buying an autonomous car: When asked how much they would currently be prepared to spend on an autonomous vehicle, this proportion of study participants said "0 francs". In the lower price segment in particular, the willingness to invest in autonomous vehicles is extremely low, while in the higher 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 they have fewer concerns about public transport. The willingness to use autonomous public transport is also higher than for private autonomous vehicles. The survey also revealed that consumers feel less responsible for their vehicle, passengers and traffic when using autonomous private vehicles compared to using conventional cars.

Although the use of autonomous mobility in Switzerland is still low, it is steadily increasing - from just under two percent in 2022 to over three percent in 2024. Fully autonomous mobility, such as the SkyMetro at Zurich Airport, is currently only a reality 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 the legal framework for autonomous driving on the roads. This means that autonomous cars without drivers could become a reality in the near future.

Obtaining the Swiss Mobility Monitor

On almost 70 pages, the study report provides detailed insights into the spread of mobility innovations and their acceptance among the Swiss population. The complete study report can be ordered from the Swiss Consumer Studies website. Selected results are available free of charge as a one-page summary.


The data basis for the Swiss Mobility Monitor is a representative online survey of 1,037 people over the age of 18 living in Switzerland. The survey was conducted between February 28, 2024 and March 11, 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 behavior and digital marketing at regular intervals.