Electric Cars in Iceland

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Electric Cars in Iceland

An electric car on display in Reykjavík
An electric car on display in Reykjavík last month. Photo: Zoë Robert.

Q: What is the policy on electric vehicles in Iceland? Is their use widespread?

Is there any effective program to help the diffusion of such vehicles? If not electric vehicles, are there plans for other kinds of powered transports (hydrogen, air, etc.)?

Alexander, Italy.


A: As mentioned in Eygló’s response to a similar question, as of October 2013, there were fewer than 50 electric cars in Iceland, up from 20 when the Icelandic Electric Vehicle Association was founded in December 2012.

Iceland’s government has pledged that ten percent of all transport fuel in the country is to be eco-friendly by 2020, considering hydrogen, methane and electric cars.

Most electric vehicles purchased in Iceland so far have been bought by government institutions, official and semi-official companies. The city bus company Strætó has operated two buses powered by methane for the last few years. Previously, the company tested three hydrogen fuel cell buses and a fuel station, from 2001 to 2007, as part of the ECTOS (Ecological City Transport System) and HyFLEET:CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) projects.

To encourage consumers to convert to electric, there are no custom tariffs on electric cars, while 50 percent of the price of conventional vehicles must be paid in tariffs. Free parking is also offered in several spots in the capital.

In July it was reported that Icelandic company Even had purchased, and in the next few months intends to set up, 200 new express electric-car charging stations around the country.

Iceland’s first electric car rental service was also recently set up.

The BBC reported on electric cars in Iceland in October last year.