Current traffic situation and the innovation strategy 2019-2030
The most important freeway in the Czech Republic currently runs through the center of Prague, which causes daily gridlock. Two ring roads are planned and already partly built, which should relieve the traffic congestion in the capital. Furthermore, investments will be made in the railroad network, in particular in the construction of high-speed lines on the main Prague-Brno-Ostrava axis. Smart mobility is another trend; this involves things such as renewing the infrastructure and building new charging stations for electric vehicles. As stated in its Innovation Strategy for 2019-2030, the Czech Republic still has an insufficient network of charging stations, although the number of electric vehicles is continuously increasing.
Planned projects and investments
Traffic has been increasing in the Czech capital for several years, especially in the city center. This is also not helped by the fact that the main Czech D1 freeway, located in the middle of the city, is slowed down by constant traffic jams. Construction of the outer ring road began in the 20th century, but has still not been completed; only 7 of the 11 sections of the ring road are currently in operation and a full 42 km out of a total of 82 km is still waiting to be built. Together with the government, the City of Prague is now planning investments of up to five billion Swiss francs, the first installment of which is earmarked for the completion of the inner and outer ring roads. The government plans to invest up to 23 billion Swiss francs in the completion of the Czech freeways by 2030.
Business opportunities for Swiss companies in the renovation of the railroad network
The largest investments are planned for the renovation of the existing railroad network and the construction of the new Leitmeritz-Prague-Brno-Ostrava high-speed line. The Czech government plans to invest up to 28 billion Swiss francs in the renovation of railroad lines and up to 18 billion Swiss francs in the construction of high-speed stretches. This opens up many opportunities for Swiss companies and investors who already have experience with Swiss infrastructure construction. Switzerland has a very good reputation in the Czech Republic, and not just in terms of precision and efficiency. This investment is regarded as a key investment, as the high-speed stretch could relieve the infrastructure and put it on a comparable level with neighboring countries in the west.
Smart infrastructure as innovation target
The Czech government published the document "Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic 2019-2030", in which, among other things, it plans to strongly promote the smart infrastructure. The number of registered electric vehicles in the Czech Republic is increasing by 60% annually, which will be a problem for drivers in the near future due to the inadequately developed network of charging stations among other things. Initially, the government's main objectives are to complete the backbone of the infrastructure network and to implement pilot projects for the smart mobility solutions.
Support for the automotive industry
The "Innovation Strategy" document states that the government wants to prepare for the integration of alternative cars into real traffic by enabling the operation of autonomous and automatic vehicles. Support for the development of the automotive industry in the Czech Republic is also provided for. The Czech automobile brand Škoda plans to invest more than two billion Swiss francs in the development of electric mobility and digitization – the main reason for this being the EU's emission restrictions.
Worst and best case scenario with investment opportunities for Swiss companies
According to a study by Euro Energy, even in the worst-case scenario, more than 34,000 new charging stations will be needed for passenger cars and more than 1,200 for commercial vehicles and trucks by 2040; in the best scenario, about 236,000 will be needed for passenger cars and about 5,600 for commercial vehicles and trucks. This offers further unique investment opportunities for experienced companies from Switzerland. You can find more information on the topic here.