The Icelandic development company Northern Lights Energy (NLE) has signed a declaration of intent with the American AMP Electric Vehicles on the sale of 1,000 electric jeeps in Iceland in the next five years.
The traffic in Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The project is part of a national initiative on the electrification of vehicles in Iceland, in which NLE has a part, Fréttabladid reports.
Gísli Gíslason, chairman of NLE, said the goal is not only to import 200 electric jeeps to Iceland every year but also to assemble them in Iceland.
“It is very likely that AMP will establish a car construction factory in Iceland. It isn’t as complicated as people might think. We will hopefully get the first cars in January,” Gíslason said.
He explained putting the cars together is comparable to modeling. If undertaken in Iceland, it will create jobs and save foreign currency.
Sighvatur Lárusson, managing director of NLE, said the company chooses projects which “have a social responsibility, matter to people and have long-term effects. Our largest project is the electrification of vehicles in Iceland and the agreement with AMP is part of that project; we have to ensure the arrival of electric cars for it to work.”
Participants in the national initiative already total around 50 institutions and companies, including the Ministry for the Environment. “We aim to recruit up to 300 companies and institutions in the following months,” Lárusson said.
The order of 1,000 electric cars to one country is the largest ever made in the world, as Jim Motavalli wrote on bnet.com, the online media outlet of CBS News. Motavalli often writes for The New York Times.
In his article he states that Steve Burns, the chairman of AMP, believes Iceland has a unique opportunity to become the first country in the world where the electrification of vehicles could have a significant importance for society.
One thousand large electric vehicles obviously have a noticeable impact in a country with a fleet of around 210,000 cars.
It is also an inviting fact that if all the cars in Iceland would be exchanged for electric vehicles, it would only take 50 megawatts to power them, which is about one third of the energy production of the hydro plant Blönduvirkjun, one of many power plants in Iceland.