There exists a variety of electric cars. Some run with batteries and an electric motor while others have a fuel cell on board and generate electricty from hydrogen. They also use electric motors. Both types are using the local electric grid as the main source of energy for filling up. Hydrogen is made with electricity and water, while batteries can store electricity directly.
Icelandic New Energy has made arrangements to test Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) within the Icelandic conditions. As before these vehicles are rented out to customers who are kindly requested to fill in forms as to register data about the cars' performance in everyday usage.
In 2010 two MiEVs were put in use and in 2011 the first Think car was put in traffic. Both of these cars use normal electric plugs and can be filled with cords to normal sockets, which are of the type 220V and 10, 12 or 16A in Iceland.
In May 2010 two MiEV cars were imported from Mitsubishi in collaboration with the car retailer Hekla in Iceland. These vehicles are made for left side driving so it is a little odd to sit at the steering wheel. The cars were first used at the energy companies (the National Power Company and Reykjavík Energy) as well as the Icelandic Ministry of Industry and Commerce used one of the cars as the main car for the minister, Mrs Katrin Juliusdottir. Right away this sprinting red vehicle was nick-named the Strawberry. The other one is silver gray.
The power train runs on 330 V but the car can either be charged with high power (fast charging) or from ordinary sockets. It contains two kinds of batteries, the main Li ion batteries (330) used for driving and an ordinary battery (12V) for auxilliary use.
The car can seat 4 passengers and it is quite roomy on the inside and yet neat on the outside. Technical data is as follows: The motor is permanent cynchronous magnet technology. Max power; 47kW and max torque is 180Nm with a rear wheel drive.
During 2011 and 2010 these two cars were used in service outside of the capital for example at the hydro-power station at Ljósafoss and in Akureyri. In spring 2011 the gray one was rented to the Faro Islands and will later that year also be rented to Greenland. In Reykjavik they have been in use by Reykjavik's Energy (OR), and the National Power Company (LV) and also rented out to few families that have participated in our project: Electric vehicles for the public. All drivers have reported very nice driving performace but during cold spells the range is somewhat shorter than they expected, especially if the wipers, lights, radio and the heating is used to a large extent. More detailed information on the performance is to be published at the end of 2011.