Conference on biogas and electric cars in Iceland

green-carThe huge Japanese car makers Mitsubishi and Toyota, as well as BYD Auto from China, are to introduce their latest green car developments at the third annual Driving Sustainability international conference of industry experts to be held on 14th and 15th September in Reykjavik, Iceland.

All of Iceland’s electric needs are catered for by renewable energy. The country is the world leader in harnessing renewable energy with 80 percent of its total energy consumption from hydro- and geothermal sources. The remainder, mostly fossil fuels, is consumed by the transport and fishing sectors.

The cost of imported fossil fuels to run the 200,000 cars in Iceland has gone up by nearly 100 percent since last year due to a dramatic devaluation of the currency following the collapse of the country’s financial system.

“Cars are our next target for a 100 percent sustainable energy society, as system change in electricity was implemented here a couple of decades back,” says Teitur Torkelsson, managing partner of FTO, and chief organiser of Driving Sustainability.

“The first goal is to enlarge the proportion of vehicles in Iceland fuelled by biogas, domestically produced from a Reykjavík landfill. Secondly, the government has for some time now been working on revamping the import duty structure for cars to minimise fuel imports. This will make fuel-efficient cars considerably more affordable and gas-guzzlers more expensive. Thirdly we should expect some financial incentives for zero emission cars that can run on domestically produced green electricity. If, or perhaps I should say when, electric cars become competitive in quality and price, Icelanders will have no problem running all their cars on domestically produced sustainable energy. So this small country has a good chance at being the first in the world.”

“In previous years this has been a great B2B and news generating event and I believe it will be so again this year,” says Torkelsson. The 2008 event culminated in the signing of an agreement between the Icelandic government, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on fleet testing of the electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV in Iceland and the development of a service network and infrastructure for such cars.

More information about the Driving Sustainability conference is available at: www.drivingsustainability.org

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