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