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:
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 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.
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.