iceland west fjords coast road istk

Electric Car Hire in Iceland

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Go Electric on your Iceland Road Trip

Why drive an electric car in Iceland?

First and foremost, it’s environmentally friendly. Almost all electricity in Iceland is produced using renewable energy (73% hydropower and 26.8% geothermal). If you’re used to driving an EV at home, you’ll find it the natural choice in Iceland. However, if you’ve never driven one before (or perhaps you’re considering buying an EV), then your holiday in Iceland is the perfect opportunity for a ‘test drive’. The roads are excellent, with little traffic, and there’s an ever-expanding network of charging stations.

Did you know? Iceland is one of the world’s leading countries when it comes to EVs. In the first half of 2022, around 85 per cent of private cars sold in Iceland were plug-ins (compared to 16.5 per cent in the UK).

north iceland road through myvatn rth

Is it cheaper to hire an electric car?

Not yet. In Iceland, the cost of electricity for charging an EV is considerably cheaper than filling the equivalent ‘traditional’ vehicle with petrol. We estimate, for example, that the fuel cost for driving 1,600km in a standard VW Golf is around £158*, while the equivalent VW ID.3 electric car would cost about £59** to charge over the same distance. However, the rental cost of EVs is currently higher than traditional cars, so you do end up spending more, overall, by going electric. For seven day’s car rental between June and August, the total cost of an electric VW ID.3 (rental plus charging) is likely to be around £175 more than a petrol VW Golf. Don’t forget that this is the rate for the vehicle, so divide this by the number of people in your party for the cost per person. Remember that, by hiring an EV, a significant part of your travel will be emissions-free, so you will be paying less if you choose to carbon-offset your trip.

As a guide, Iceland’s Ring Road (Route 1) is 1,332km. Costs estimated April 2023.
* Fuel cost based on approx ISK328.7 per litre; consumption 4.8 litres per 100km
** Charging cost based on approx ISK6 per 100km

Find out about carbon offsetting with the World Land Trust »

iceland south west strokkur at geysir winter view istk

Are there electric car charging stations in Iceland?

There are hundreds of EV charging stations in Iceland. You’ll find them at car rental depots, hotels and rest stops in towns and all around the Ring Road. Hook up to a rapid charging station (which provides power at up to 250kWh) and you can charge your car battery from 20% to 80% in as little as 30 minutes – or about the same time it takes you to enjoy a traditional Icelandic hot dog from the service station! Your EV is also provided with a cable for ‘slow charging’ using 22kWh power. This is ideal for when you’re charging overnight and can take 5-10 hours.

How much does EV charging cost in Iceland?

In 2023, EV charging costs ranged from around 25kr per kWh to 65kr per kWh, depending on the type of charging station you use. The VW ID.3 has a 58kWh battery, so if you use a fast-charging station (with DC 50kWh power) it will cost around kr2,900 (or about £17) to fully charge the battery and give you a range of 265 miles. Another way of looking at charging costs is to consider ON Power’s charging station rate of kr39 per minute, which will cost kr1,170 (or around £7) for 30 minutes and an 80% charge.

iceland west fjords electric car charging at dynjandi rth

Will I run out of power?

Most of your driving will either be in the southwest where most of the population lives, or on (or near) the Ring Road that encircles Iceland. Whichever self drive itinerary you’re following, you’ll be able to join the dots between an easy-to-reach succession of charging stations. Check out this map of charging stations in Iceland.

Let’s take one of our most popular self drive holidays – Essential Iceland – as an example. This seven-night itinerary packs a wealth of natural wonders into an unforgettable road trip along Iceland’s south coast. A typical EV (like the VW ID.3) can travel up to 265 miles on a full charge – and with its ‘quick charge’ mode you can top up its range to around 180 miles in just 30 minutes. Even if you mostly charged your vehicle at overnight stops, you’d still be able to comfortably drive this route. And, of course, don’t forget there are numerous charging stations at locations between these overnight stops.

Extreme cold weather can reduce the range of EV batteries, which is why we only recommend electric car rental in Iceland for the summer months, May-September. How you drive can also affect EV battery performance (avoid harsh braking and acceleration), while heavily laden vehciles (with multiple passengers and lots of luggage) can also have an impact. When you collect your vehicle, it will have 70-80% charge, and you need to return it with at least 60-70%.

south iceland electric car chargning in hvolsvollur rth

What electric cars can I hire in Iceland?

We offer the following rental EVs in Iceland: Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.3, Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul and Kia Niro. View car rental models »

Upgrading to an electric vehicle (EV)

You can choose to upgrade to an electric car from just £12 per person per day (for May departures), or £20 per person per day for June-August.

Can I drive an EV in Iceland’s interior?

A 4WD vehicle is required for the unsurfaced tracks of the interior Highlands (only open in summer). Although there are several electric 4WD vehicles, they are not suitable for tackling this terrain (or any of Iceland F-roads). We do, however, offer a hybrid Volvo XC60 4×4 which is suitable for driving in Iceland’s Highlands.

iceland electric car driving tesla rth