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Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
  • Electric Vehicles in Iceland
The struggles that Gisli Gislason has gone through to bring electric vehicle to his home country of Iceland are a near-perfect example of the difficulties that have plagued the EV industry around the world. After working with two companies that ended up not being able to deliver what they promised – at least not yet – Gislason is finally making progress with, you guessed it, Tesla Motors. "We never imagined it would be so hard," he told AutoblogGreen.

The self-described "crazy Viking" does not give up, and that's why he will be getting his Model S soon. He signed the papers last week, and told AutoblogGreen he thinks he will get the first Model S in Europe at some point in July (We asked, but Tesla has not yet confirmed or denied this). Then, with his electric vehicle sales company EVEN, he expects to get two more in August, 10 in September and 38 in December. That makes 51 cars for the year and 12 are already sold (his personal vehicle makes 13). "There are a lot of happy drivers waiting here in Iceland," he said.

"In Iceland, you can buy two Tesla Model S EVs for the cost of one Porsche Panamera."

For the last two months, EVEN has been selling Nissan Leaf EVs because other local importers weren't interested in the cars. This "was very strange because they were a big seller in Europe," Gislason told AutoblogGreen, adding that so far EVEN has sold eight, with "a lot" in the pipes. He said people are waiting for the 2013 model, which is due in Iceland in any day now. "We are happy and suddenly the importers will be getting the first cars in, I think, August or September. So that's good because I need EVs on the roads," he said.

Iceland is special in that it could easily be the first country that powers its road vehicles using nothing but renewable energy, given the tremendous amount of hydropower available there and the country's small size. The government has also made EVs a good financial deal, with no import taxes and no VAT on the first $45,000 value of the car (usually, VAT on other vehicles is 25.5 percent). That means, Gislason said, that you could buy two Model S EVs for the cost of one Porsche Panamera. That's impressive, but the real turning point could come once the Tesla Model X is available, because that will have all-wheel drive. "People are really waiting," Gislason said. "That will be an easy sell."


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  • 12 Comments
      Jesse Gurr
      • 4 Months Ago
      An EV dealer selling EVs, who'da thunk it! I wonder if Tesla gave him permission to sell their cars in that country. Does he order the Model Ses for people then? I wonder how many LEAFs he has sold so far. He will have some competition in the summer when Nissan will start selling them officially. Or maybe Nissan will let him sell the LEAFs instead of their dealers there.
      Jim McL
      • 4 Months Ago
      Hydro power? Don't you mean geothermal power?
        paulwesterberg
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        "In 2007, geothermal energy provided about 66 percent of primary energy, the share of hydropower was 15 percent, and fossil fuels (mainly oil) 19 percent." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Iceland
          Nick Kordich
          • 4 Months Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          That's energy in general. Much of that geothermal energy is used for heating. The fossil fuel use is mainly transportation-related, and includes the fishing fleet and aircraft, as well as cars and trucks. In Iceland, the electrical grid is about 70% hydro / 30% geothermal. In general, hydroelectric power generation is easier to expand, so if EVs become common, it may be additional hydro that powers them.
      Actionable Mango
      • 4 Months Ago
      Wait I thought we were all against those evil middle-men "stealerships" and everyone should buy direct from the Tesla website?
        Grendal
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        It's not in the USA. He's an Icelandic middle-man.
        Val
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Is there a law in iceland that forbids a manufacturer from selling directly to customers? No. Is this a dealer that sells EVs exclusively, so is not in a conflict trying to push his gas cars, which Elon said is a major reason they don't want to let dealers handle tesla sales? Yes.
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Months Ago
      It's great to see that Northern Lights Energy and Gisli Gislason, lawyer turned environmental entrepreneur, has survived the melt-down ( sorry) of the Icelandic economy after it's banking fiasco of 2008-2011. Gisli Gislason, is a true visionary, and a great credit to his country. Iceland is the ideal place for EV's, especially 4WD Ev's. Blessed with an abundance of Hydro and Geothermal power, Iceland has basically only one main highway, and parts of that are pretty rough. Still a road trip around the Hringvegur, is really spectacular, and well worth undertaking. Subsidiary roads call for good driving skills, especially in winter. Visiting Iceland is an incredible experience. The country is wildly beautiful, and people are very hospitable. Iceland is a great place for a holiday, but be prepared to stay up late, since Icelanders start going out to bars and nightspots after midnight. (Any country that celebrates a National beer day, is OK by me ! ).
      • 4 Months Ago
      No surprise at all that Iceland is an EV hot spot....together with Norway and other countries where you have an alignment of various factors - clean energy supply, strong subsidy, high per capita income, green propensity etc. I produced a 'balanced scorecard' to evaluate a ranking of EV market opportunity a while ago. Coupled with that you need individuals with chutzpah like Gisli! Well done sir!
      Grendal
      • 4 Months Ago
      Sounds like he's eager for the Model X. New details on that were in the shareholders meeting.
      raktmn
      • 4 Months Ago
      That brings a new meaning to the old saying about Iceland and Greenland: "Iceland is green, and Greenland is ice"