Iceland’s Famous Route 1 That Circles Island Gets >20 Fast Chargers


Iceland is one of the most EV friendly places in the world, with some 13% share for plug-in electric cars in 2017 among new sales.

ABB Terra 53 fast charger in Iceland

Some 80% of the electricity is generated from renewable sources and the main road that circles the entire island is equipped with more than 20 fast chargers along over 1,300 km (800 miles).

There are currently more than 6,000 plug-ins in Iceland – up from 90 in 2014.

Read Also – Musk Says Tesla Will Expedite Into Iceland

The ABB Terra 53 chargers (50 kW, multi-standard) – managed by the ON Power – need to withstand extreme weather conditions, including temperatures that drop as low as -30C, lots of salt, sea fog, moisture and storms.

To make the chargers more visible, all are orange.

“Iceland is implementing an ambitious plan to increase the adoption of renewable energy, with incentives to promote electric vehicles.

The impetus for Iceland’s sustainability push came from the realization that the island nation was overly dependent on foreign oil sources. Today, 80 percent of Iceland’s energy comes from non-fossil resources, led by hydropower and geothermal energy.”

“While fossil fuels still account for 20 percent of overall energy usage, the Icelandic government has put in place a state-financed incentive program to increase the use of electric vehicles. It’s already having an impact—today there are more than 6,000 e-cars, compared to a scant 90 in 2014.

To power these e-cars, more than 20 ABB fast charging stations have been installed along Iceland’s famous Route 1, the 1,300+ kilometer road that’s the country’s main highway and its logistical backbone.

There, the chargers are exposed to the most extreme weather conditions, including temperatures that drop as low as -30C.”

ABB Terra 53 fast charger in Iceland

“The ABB fast chargers can top up an e-car battery in just 15-30 minutes. All the ABB chargers support comprehensive solutions for user authorization, payment and network connectivity. A stable charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is crucial if Iceland is to realize its ambition of becoming 100 percent energy sustainable. “In the beginning people were skeptical, but now they see e-vehicles on the road and realize that they are here to stay,” Skúlason said.

ABB AbilityTM technology guarantees that the charges are operational 24/7. Remote digital connectivity enables continuous monitoring of the device from any location on the island. This gives ON Power access to data in real time for the remote monitoring and proactive control of the operational and technical status of the charging stations. ABB provides a fully flexible overview of the entire charging network to make sure the system is fully functional right down to temperatures of -35C.”

“Cloud-based technology connects the chargers to the Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform to drive greater value and efficiency. This means that technicians can diagnose over 90 percent of all errors and solve over 60 percent of them remotely without having to go to the location, and at the same time, this makes it possible for ON Power to guide their customers in the best possible way.”

Bjarni Már Júlíusson, CEO of ON Power, a leading electricity company that’s part of Reykjavik Energy. ON Power will operate the network of ABB chargers situated along Route 1 said:

“You will not find a more challenging climate than in Iceland. The chargers are exposed to incredibly harsh weather conditions with lots of salt, sea fog, low temperatures, moisture and storms.”

Óskar Gústavsson, sales manager at Johan Rönning, ABB’s distributor in Iceland said:

“ABB is typically able to remotely reboot a charger if there is an error, which is extremely convenient in Iceland, due to the long distances and tough weather involved in sending out service personnel.”

Lasse Altmann, Business Development Manager for ABB E-Mobility Charging said:

“All the chargers are orange, which makes them easier to see when the harsh weather reduces visibility,” .

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7 Comments on "Iceland’s Famous Route 1 That Circles Island Gets >20 Fast Chargers"

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How many stalls are there per site? I estimated after Elon’s tweet, to cover all of Iceland for EV’s, you need 325 charge stations with 8 stalls each..

??? 1300 km ring road = 26 chargers with min. 2 stalls each + Landmanalaug (inland east) and west fjords and thingvillir/geyser area.
Maybe 40 total. Remember there are only 300.000 people in Iceland.

Is there really only a single plug per connector type/location as shown in the image? Really???

I only remember 1 company that had a Multi Protocol DC Charger that offered Ability to Simultaneously charge a Leaf on CHAdeMO, and a Bolt EV on CCS! But I don’t remember the company or product name!😞 Basically, it could do 100 kW, for 1 plug, or 50 kW per plug if both were used, similar to a Tesla Supercharger A – B connection.

When they started the project in 2012, there were 40 plug-in cars in the entirety of Iceland.

Yes, *fourty*. With no borders to neighboring countries across which more might visit. And they still decided in good faith to outfit the entire ring road anyway. I think you can forgive them for planning somewhat conservatively. 😉

Also consider that getting the infrastructure set up in those remote locations was probably the majority of the work. Plopping down an additional stall or two at existing locations where required is probably fairly easy now.

I’ve only done a little more than 1/4 of the Route 1 drive and it is amazing. I drove from Reykjavik to Jokulsarlon along the south coast and back. Now doing in an EV would be even better.

Coincidentally I was in Iceland last week and drove the whole ring road (aside from using the Oxi shortcut). We were in a diesel rental. But, I saw quite a few of these quick chargers. All were single-charger installs. Given that gas/diesel are about $8/gallon, and they have cheap geothermal and hydro electric generation, EVs seem like a no-brainer there.