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Iceland Gets a PHEV for Sept. Int'l Conference
Sep 2, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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In European countries where fuel costs over $5/gallon, our 100+MPG message (translated to 40+ kilometers/liter plus electricity) resonates. And the global warming benefit is of great interest especially when the European Union is establishing goals of 120 or 130 grams of CO2/kilometer. A Prius conversion can emit less than 110 grams/kilometer! (For documentation, see the Technical Notes for the Presentation by CalCars Tech Lead Ron Gremban at EET-2007 European Ele-Drive in Brussels last spring at­downloads.html )

Some time ago, we agreed to speak at a Sept. 17-18 conference in Iceland bringing together key policymakers in that country along with many leaders from Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. We were interested in doing this because we'd been hearing that this unique nation, 72% powered by goethermal energy and hydropower, was reconsidering its assumptions about a fuel-cell future. We saw a chance to present the pathway of electrifying transportation, using existing technology and infrastructure, and avoiding the high energy needed to electrolyze water into hydrogen. (That said, there's still lots of momentum for hydrogen in Iceland.)

With three cabinet ministers and the President driving hybrids, the climate seemed favorable for our message. (Barbara Boxer, Chairperson of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is one of many recent visitors who have come to learn about Iceland's renewable energy plans.)

Now we're happy to announce that not only will we speak there, but working with the conference organizers and government agencies, Iceland will get its own converted Prius a week before the conference, which will be available for demonstrations, events, and evaluation in the country after we leave. It's being converted by Amberjac Projects Ltd, UK, which has completed conversions in England and the Netherlands -- see our "Where PHEVs Are and "How To Get" pages for links.

The National Energy Authority of Iceland, a key sponsor of the conversion, will monitor the performance of the car, owned by an individual who lives in Akuyeri. (Tthis largest town outside of the Reykjavic area is 100 km south of the Arctic Circle, where temperatures go down to -20C, though they may average between -5 and +10C. So the car and its batteries will get a good workout!)


Iceland is the world’s leading nation in utilising renewable energy. Its next aim is to tackle the transport industry. Renewable energy for vehicles and sustainable solutions for transport are the focus of Driving Sustainability '07 Conference ( held in Reykjavik on September 17-18.

Iceland is a global leader in renewable energy with 72% of its total energy consumption from hydro- and geothermal sources. The remainder, mostly fossil fuels, is consumed by the transport and fishing sector. Iceland is now taking the next step by increasing energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy for vehicles. A volcanic island with abundance of renewable energy sources and a small nation with an innovative mindset provides for an exciting case study on how to move towards a 100% sustainable energy society.

The conference will provide an excellent opportunity to network with policy makers and fuel technology experts from around the world. His Excellency, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson President of Iceland, will open the conference. The first keynote will be delivered by the Minister of Finance, whose Ministry is in the process of creating proposals for a new comprehensive taxation framework for fuels and vehicles with the aim of encouraging the use of eco-friendly cars, energy efficiency, and decreasing emissions from transport.

Speakers include Icelandic, American, Swiss, French, Danish and Swedish specialists in pioneering policy and technology for eco-friendly vehicles such as ethanol, biogas, hydrogen, electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Organizations represented include Ford Europe, MIT, California Cars Initiative, French Ministry of Industry, Icelandic Energy Authority, city of Copenhagen, city of Reykjavik, city of Stockholm, and the Iceland Innovation Institute.

Opportunities for expert guided tours of Iceland’s many hydroelectric and state of the art geothermal power plants can be arranged for visiting journalists and interested parties, as well as visits to a biogas production facility and the world’s first hydrogen refuelling station. The sources of Iceland’s renewable energy are best enjoyed by visiting Iceland’s many spectacular waterfalls, hot springs and geysers, and of course by relaxing in the Blue Lagoon outdoor spa under a starlit sky in the middle of a lava field.

Conference Director: Mr. Teitur Torkelsson: see for media contact information

CALCARS NOTE: Media interested in participating can arrive early for a Sept. 13 competition on the streets of Reykjavic among cars using gasoline, diesel, biogas, hydrogen and electricity, judged by C02 emissions, energy consumption and the cost. The conference and its sponsors can arrange interviews with Ministers, CEO's in the power sector, visits to power plants, and Icelandair may even be able to cover some travel costs.

Iceand Review 08/26/2007­icelandreview/­daily_news/­?cat_id=16568&ew_0_a_id=287922

During the conference, Iceland’s Minister of Finance Árni Mathiesen, will present the government’s policy on changes of tariffs and planned financial encouragement to increase eco-friendly vehicles and energy sources.

Iceland’s Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir will discuss how we can reduce CO2 emissions caused by transportation and submit the thesis: "Can Iceland become a leading nation in eco-friendly energy use in transportation?"

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