The rise of electric car rentals in Iceland: A sustainable solution

Electric cars have instant torque, which means they can accelerate quickly from a stop, ideal for navigating Iceland's winding roads

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By Annabel Monaghan

Published: Mon 8 May 2023, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 May 2023, 1:23 PM

Iceland is known for its stunning natural landscapes and commitment to sustainability. As more and more travellers visit the country, the demand for environmentally-friendly transportation options has grown. One solution that has seen a recent surge in popularity is the rental of electric cars in Iceland. This article will explore the benefits and challenges of renting electric cars in Iceland and what travellers can expect when opting for this option.

Benefits of electric car rentals in Iceland

One of the main benefits of renting an electric car during a self drive tour in Iceland is the reduced environmental impact. Iceland is powered almost entirely by renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric and geothermal power, and electric cars emit no pollutants or greenhouse gases. Additionally, electric cars are cheaper to operate than traditional gasoline cars, saving money on fuel costs for renters.

Another advantage of electric car rentals in Iceland is the increased efficiency of travel. Electric cars have instant torque, which means they can accelerate quickly from a stop, ideal for navigating Iceland's winding roads.

Challenges and solutions

One of the main challenges of renting an electric car in Iceland is the limited infrastructure for charging. While the number of charging stations in Iceland is increasing, they are currently primarily located in larger towns and cities, making it more challenging for travellers to plan long distance trips. Some rental companies have found a solution by providing renters with a portable charging device, allowing them to charge their car anywhere they can find a regular household outlet.

Another challenge is the limited range of electric cars, as a fully charged electric car can only travel a certain distance before needing to be recharged. This can be a concern for renters planning longer trips or visiting remote areas. However, rental companies are addressing this challenge by offering larger battery electric cars with longer ranges, and by providing clear information on the range and location of charging stations to renters.

What the stats say

According to a study by the Icelandic Tourist Board, the number of electric cars in Iceland has grown by more than 50 per cent in the past two years, and it is projected to continue to rise. Additionally, a survey by the Icelandic Road Administration found that nearly two-thirds of tourists would consider renting an electric car for their next trip to Iceland.

Tips and advice

If you're considering renting an electric car in Iceland, be sure to check the availability and locations of charging stations to plan your trip accordingly. Also, check the range of the car, so you can plan for recharging stops. It's also a good idea to check with your rental company about any additional equipment or services they may offer, such as portable charging devices.


Renting an electric car in Iceland is a sustainable and efficient option for travellers. While there are challenges, such as limited charging infrastructure, rental companies are finding solutions to make it a viable option for travellers. With the number of electric cars in Iceland on the rise, it's an option worth considering for your next trip to the land of fire and ice.

— Annabel Monaghan is a writer for technology and entrepreneurship.

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