The Icelandic company Even has purchased, and in the next few months intends to set up, 200 new express electric-car charging stations around the country.
According to plans outlined by the government, 10 percent of cars should rely on sustainable fuels by 2020. Currently, however, it is not very practical to own an electric car in Iceland as there are very few charging stations, most of them located in the capital area.
Gísli Gíslasson, of Even, said in an interview with Fréttatíminn that not enough is being done to achieve this goal and that is why the company has decided to take matters into its own hands.
“In Norway work is being done to reach this goal every day, and that’s why electric cars are common there. We couldn’t wait for the government and decided to do our part in this,” Gísli said.
The electric car Tesla is the second highest selling car in Norway this year and Nissan Leaf is fourth on the list. Norway is leading in the area of electric cars with plans for 200,000 cars on the road there by 2020. In Iceland nine Teslas and eleven Nissan Leafs came into use in the past six months.
Even plans to start setting up these stations this summer and complete installation before the new year.
Electric car owners in both Norway and Iceland enjoy certain perks over drivers of fossil-fueled vehicles. They have access to free electricity at electric car charging stations, free, exclusive parking at designated locations as well as tax discounts on importation and a sales tax discount. In Norway, electric car owners additionally do not pay road or ferry tolls, and are allowed to drive their cars in so-called bus lanes.
This makes the maintenance of an electric car that much more economical, an important aspect of Even’s decision, Gísli added. “The dream is that it will be free to charge your car and that people can drive anywhere in Iceland without paying for fuel.”
Orka Náttúrunnar (Nature’s Energy) recently opened a charging station at N1 in the West Iceland town and popular pitstop of Borgarnes. This is the seventh of ten planned stations in a two year project co-sponsored by the BL car dealership and Nissan Europe. For the duration of the project, electric car owners will be able to use these stations for free.