Electric vehicle fans the world over can get a kick out of Gísli Gíslason, a leader in Iceland's push to take the bountiful renewable energy that country produces and stuff it into as many EVs as possible. When he was recently pulled over for speeding in his white Tesla Roadster for going 124 kilometers per hour (77 miles per hour) – the first time an EV has been pulled over in Iceland – he told local media that, "I forgot myself in good weather," and encouraged other drivers to be careful. He also recognized the incident as something bigger than one man's lead foot, telling AutoblogGreen it was, "A great marketing stunt."

The charismatic Gislason, CEO of Northern Lights Energy, is even more excited about a bigger piece of news, though – he calls it "the hottest news in Iceland" – which is that the bill to reduce the high "value added tax" (VAT) rate on electric vehicles has passed. He shared the news that at 22:15 on the last day that the Parliament was in session before summer vacation, the bill was accepted. As we reported earlier, this bill does completely remove the VAT (currently set at 25.5 percent for vehicles, which Gislason calls "the highest in the world"), just on the first $45,000 of the price of EVs. Thus, electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and other smaller cars will be VAT free. The NLE staff, which is working to import and sell EVs in Iceland, celebrated with champagne and, as Gislason put it, "Let the games begin."



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      With a 25% VAT Iceland must not want people to buy cars.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Gísli Gíslason, is quite a character, and Northern Lights Energy, is at the forefront of green energy initiatives. The Iceland government is very keen to kick start the economy which took an unprecedented hit during the GFC banking madness. Anyway, good luck to Iceland and their passion for EV's.
      otiswild
      • 3 Years Ago
      Makes sense, Iceland is literally built on top of limitless thermal energy, and is small enough for current battery technology to make a lot of sense.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @otiswild
        Actually I don't know if the financial crisis messed things up, but the plan was to use industrial waste carbon dioxide processed with geothermal to produce methanol and a precursor, converted to DME which can be used in only mildly modified diesel engines in ships or trucks. They reckoned they could get 50% of their diesel needs from that.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @otiswild
        And if they run out of thermal power they could always add some windmills or dam some fjords and make even more clean power. The only think they really need petroleum for now is ships which will take longer to transition away from petroleum.
          sandos
          • 3 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          How would daming a fiord make power? Tide? Waves? I thought you needed height difference for regular hydro anyway.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Damn Fords
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          @ paulwesterberg Er, you actually dam a fiord ! Iceland's fleet of fishing vessels run on diesel, and the large ships calling at Icelandic port are powered by bunker oil. But, fortunately there's no foreseeable shortage of Geo-Thermal !
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      it might technically be true that the VAT itself is the highest in the world, Denmark is 25. but Danish sales tax on cars is as high as 205% so... not even close : ) although EVs are excempt from most and only pay the 25% 'VAT'
        sandos
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Yeah, danish car taxes seems kinda insane, even from a Swedish viewpoint. Sweden also has 25% VAT though.
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