Iceland's plug-in vehicle push gets aired with Independent People

The Icelandic television program Independent People (Sjálfstætt fólk) recently aired a half-hour episode all about charismatic entrepreneur Gísli Gíslason and his efforts to begin to shift the entire fleet of gas-powered vehicles in that country to plug-in power. If you can't tell he's worth spending 30 minutes with, just look at the way he rocks a silver suit while posing with an all-electric ML from Amp Electric Vehicles (taken when the first AMP EV hit the streets of Reykjavik back in May). That's style.

Gislason told AutoblogGreen:

The show was about me and my mission of changing things here in Iceland – from gasoline cars to EVs. I had the chance to explain everything about EVs, the infrastructure and the benefits – and also point out that now the biggest barrier is our mind (other things have been solved).
And since I have bought a ticket with Virgin Galactic, my space trip was also one of the topics of the show. I will be the first Icelander to go into space with the Icelandic Flag. The show was a huge hit here in Iceland – and did really wake people up

One reason why EVs have such potential in Iceland is that there are no import taxes on them, while gas-powered vehicles have a very high VAT (values added tax) plus the import taxes. Gislason said, "The plan is to re-pay the VAT (sales added tax) on all EVs from January 1st until 2020 or until 10 percent of the fleet is using 'green energy' (whichever comes first) – the VAT on cars is now 25.5 percent (on top of the price of the car + transportation cost + import taxes)." If Iceland's plan is a success, "similar incentives" are on tap for Norway, he said.

The first step of Gislason's goal is to make the EV a "viable choice for the general public in Iceland" by the end of 2012. The three facets of this plan include offering both slow and fast charging, providing a "wide selection" of electric cars, and to, "Make the necessary mind change for this to happen." Sounds interesting, no? Check out Independent People (with English subtitles) after the jump.

Gísli Gíslason independent people from Electric Vehicle on Vimeo.

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