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The situation in Iceland

Discussion in 'Iceland' started by Premium, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    #41 KarenRei, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    Ed to the above: The Golden Circle could probably get by on a destination charger. Most people spend around half an hour at Gullfoss to see the falls (half of that walking), plus more if they eat there (which is common). The route is about 240km / 150mi (not counting any detours / side trips, and the weather could be bad). With our low speed limits, and a "top up" at Gullfoss, a baseline Model 3 would probably not cause too much range anxiety.

    The Ring Road, however, is a different matter. For locals, the most important route is probably Reykjavík-Akureyri, which is about 380km / 235mi, including two (gently-sloped) ridges (~400m and ~550m, respectively), the latter one passed over shortly before you reach your destination (the trip start and end are at sea level). I don't think most people would feel comfortable doing that trip in a Model 3 without a supercharge available halfway, particularly when the weather is bad on the ridges (which most definitely can happen). Destination charging at each end would be sufficient, rarely does a local do the Reykjavík / Akureyri route and then suddenly turn around and go back.

    For tourists, apart from the Golden Circle, the most important route is along the Ring Road to Vík (~185km/115mi each way, 370km/230mi round trip, with a 360m ridge on the Reykjavík end and a 110m ridge on the Vík end, but otherwise flat). Destination charging really doesn't cut it for this route, because tourists usually go to many different sites but usually only stay for 10-45 minutes at each. A supercharger at Vík would not only eliminate any range concerns, but would also enable anyone to have a destination further east, potentially putting place as far away as Djúpivogur in the Eastfjörds into range (and thus popular tourist locations like Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón on the way, both of which tourists often stay for hours at and would be great places for destination chargers).

    I'd say that two superchargers and several destination chargers could probably enable most of Iceland's long-distance transportation to be electrified. It would be an excellent start, at the very least; the rest of the Ring Road, and then side areas (Snæfellsnes, Vestfirðir, Northausturland), and ultimately the highlands could be addressed later. But the start can be minimal and still extremely useful.
     
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  2. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    #42 KarenRei, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    I swear, the more I look at the map of announced plans, the more frustrated I get. Examples:

    * They're opening a supercharger in Inverness to give access to the Scottish highlands. Inverness is under 47k people and is nearly double the size of the next largest charging station in the region. That's like adding a supercharger in Greenland.

    * There's a similar situation in Cornwall.

    * They're opening not one but two superchargers to improve supercharger access to the Finnish city of Oulu (smaller than Reykjavík metro), which already has a supercharger south of it.

    * While neither the UK nor Finland have the GDP per capita of Iceland, that's nothing compared to the huge numbers of superchargers they're planning to open in Eastern Europe, including in Ukraine ($8,3k per capita), Moldova ($5,3k per capita), etc. Jordan, a small country with a per-capita GDP a quarter that of Iceland, is getting its *fifth* supercharger.

    * Honolulu, an island where the *longest possible round-trip route around the island is only 100 miles*, is getting one. So if you drove around the island... and then drove around it again.... and you *still* didn't have a destination... then you might need it! Seriously, who is it for - just taxi drivers and couriers? Just so that they can say they're in 49 of 50 states?

    * I-84 in Idaho (second lowest GDP US state), a road with as little as 6500 cars per day in places, is having its superchargers *doubled up*. Because apparently 50-110 miles apart is too far. In one place, with around 13k cars per day, they're planning to have them only *30 miles apart*. :Þ Is there some Tesla exec who has a home in southern Idaho or something?

    And on and on and on. Just frustrating as all get out :Þ

    Maybe they're doing this because they don't want to establish a service center here. But perhaps they don't know that there's a car ferry to Denmark (and I think they may have just started up one to Amsterdam as well). The cost to send a car is in the hundreds of USD each direction, not thousands. And besides, they have a service center in bloody Tromsø (64k people) - with 9 separate superchargers leading up to the city :Þ All to serve part of a region that all together has only 50% more permanent residents than Iceland (to say nothing of tourism, which we have in far greater in numbers than northern Norway).

    Is it even worth mentioning again that one of the main purposes of electrification of the grid is to clean up transportation, and Iceland is almost 100% renewable, while almost all of the rest of the world is... well, not? Norway's close, but a lot of the countries they're adding now or building more in are terrible - Jordan is 0,44% renewable, Ukraine is 5,95%, Moldova 4,87%, etc. And in a lot of these countries the grid is particularly outdated, and thus pollutes more than even "conventional" fossil fuel generation. A few of the places that Tesla operates generate large amounts of their electricity from oil-fired power stations, making the whole thing a somewhat laughable exercise. Of course, electricity from oil is cleaner (although much more expensive) than the much more abundant coal power that dominates a lot of countries' grids.

    (Yes, yes, I know the advantages of centralized fossil fuel combustion vs. doing the same distributed among ICEs. But versus prioritizing places where the power actually is clean...)
     
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  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive analysis, thank you (I say that in all seriousness). But the volume or ring road traffic is not relevant: what matters is how many people would buy a Tesla or rent one.

    With a very small population of about 330,000 (the size of a single small European or US city), only a small fraction of which can afford a Tesla, and many people in Reykjavik don't even want to own a car (as you noted), Iceland's market size does not justify Tesla establishing a formal presence there at this time. And offering a small number of Teslas as rental cars for tourists doesn't change that.

    Of course sales of expensive EVs in a country are based on more factors than just population and income; import duties, government EV incentives, personal tax rates, etc. also play a part. But look at two of the small countries that Tesla has only recently started selling in directly:

    Qatar: population 2,230,000, average income about US$240,000

    New Zealand: population 4,600,000, average income about US$49,000

    It took Tesla five years after launching the Model S to start selling in those two countries. It is probably going to be many more years before Tesla decides to establish a formal presence in Iceland, meaning a showroom and service center.

    Iceland: population 330,000, average income about US$25,000

    There are countries that Tesla sells in with a similar average income, like Finland, but that country has about 5,500,000 people. South Korea has a similar average income, but with over 50,000,000 people there is a sizable market of well off individuals who can afford a Tesla.

    My intent here is not to disparage Iceland in any way. As I have said repeatedly in this thread, I think Iceland is a wonderful place, the people are warm and welcoming, and after three trips there I would happily go back again!

    As a first step, I would suggest that the Icelandic government electrify the ring road with 40A J1772 charging stations spaced about 50 miles apart. The cost to do that would be relatively modest, all EVs would benefit, and it would help stimulate consumer interest. What do you think?
     
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  4. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Active Member

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    So get together a group of people in Iceland and make a proposal to Tesla. Come up with locations for superchargers, preferably with specific businesses who could provide the space. Find some local owners and potential owners. Demonstrate there's a real market.

    It's not as though Tesla is averse to serious development in places such as Norway and Finland, so it's a natural extension.

    Oh, yes. And highlight how supercharger stations could be powered off of geothermal sources. Novel!
     
  5. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    The cost of a single supercharger in the country would be far higher than the additional superchargers in those other places you mention. Tesla has no-one in Iceland that understand the local building laws and codes. They have no one there to do the required maintenance. They have no-one there to do repairs and installations.

    Heck Ireland only got one a few months ago and its a far more populous place. Hokkaido doesn't have one either, and Tesla already has a presence in Japan.
     
  6. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    #46 KarenRei, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    Believe it or not, Iceland has electricians. Quite good ones, actually. I've never experienced a power outage here . We deal extensively in high power installs, too, as we have a number of aluminum smelters in the country. And you really think that Tesla has experts in, say, Moldova and Ukraine (places with very flaky power systems)? Unlike much of non-EU/EEA/Schengen Eastern Europe (and many other places Tesla operates), we follow the same general regulations as the EU (even though we're not a member), as they're our largest trading block and we're a member of both EEA and Schengen.

    1. Ireland "got", as in "completed", its first supercharger half a year ago. There are two more superchargers expected to open by the end of the year. There are zero even in the planning phase in Iceland.

    2. Ireland is a smaller country, physically, than Iceland, and the roads go much more straight, and through the middle. Dublin to Limerick on the other side of the country is 200km / 125 miles**. Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir is 635km / 395mi**, with much more significant terrain in-between. The fact that they put a supercharger on Dublin to Limerick (and are now planning a second in Limerick itself) is not an excuse for doing nothing at all in Iceland, it's salt in the wound. The point of a supercharger is to enable trips that wouldn't have been possible otherwise. That route is eminently possible without a supercharger.

    ** Yes, you could choose little places and extend the distance even further in Ireland (e.g. Knightstown to Jonesborough, 465km / 290mi , but you could do that in Iceland too - e.g. Látrabjarg to Klyppsstaðir, 870km/540 mi.

    3. Neither Iceland nor Ireland are going to fully utilize installed superchargers in the short-term (after a few years of ramped-up Model 3 production that situation may start to change). The best you can say is that they're a loss leader to sell vehicles to a larger population - but that hardly justifies two chargers on a 200km stretch when Iceland doesn't get a single thing.

    Is it worth mentioning that Ireland's power is 3/4ths from fossil fuels?
     
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  7. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    I'm not saying Iceland doesn't. I'm saying Tesla doesn' have any in Iceland.

    And Ireland's population is 10x that of Iceland.
     
  8. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    See #1 in the above post, after the words "And you really..."

    See #2 and particularly #3 in the above post.
     
  9. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    My presumption is that Tesla would promptly ignore it.
     
  10. Electroman

    Electroman Well-Known Member

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    You are not addressing the well articulated post by ecarfan on why population size matters. In the end if there are going to be only 30 Teslas in Ireland in the next few years, having a SC or a Service Center isn't viable. It is not the size of the place or the availability of electricians, or well defined codes or abundant electricity. It is the market size that will drive Tesla to come to Iceland.
     
  11. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    #51 KarenRei, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    This seems to be the misunderstanding here: the average income of Iceland is not $25k. As of 2016 it was around $50k:

    List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita - Wikipedia

    And the króna has shot up this year after they removed foreign currency exchange limits, so it's probably at least $60k now; we're almost certainly top ten. We have a higher per capita income than Australia, than Germany, etc. And there is a lot of interest in EVs here.

    If they're going to build 9 bloody superchargers to service northern Norway (50% more permanent residents than Iceland, and well fewer tourists), it's ridiculous that Iceland's total should be zero.

    Don't confuse the "townie" lifestyle that some people have with thinking that cars are rare. They're not - my point was that cars are very frequently used to drive long distances. Iceland is fifth in the world in cars per capita:

    List of countries by vehicles per capita - Wikipedia

    And that's as of 2014. Iceland's economy has been strongly growing since then, and our tourism (requiring a large rental fleet) has also been growing sharply. Our oil consumption per capita is only slightly less than the US:

    Oil consumption per capita - Country Comparison

    (Most of the countries at the top of that list use oil-fired power plants, hence the reason their figures are so high)

    Our government A) is dominated by conservatives at present, and B) is struggling just to keep up with the massively growing tourist loads. There's not enough toilets on the ring road, for example, so expecting them to prioritize charging stations over things like toilets is obviously a non-starter. There's also the chicken-and-egg problem that the supercharger network was created to overcome (aka, people don't build fast chargers because there's not enough EVs, not enough people buy EVs because there's no fast chargers). Our federal government cannot be relied on to solve this problem. For its part, Reykjavík has done it's best (there's some ChAdeMOs about, I think there's one or two in Akureyri as well), but it does relatively little good to have charging stations in town.
     
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  12. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    As a reminder, the country is Iceland, not Ireland. It's very common for people to write the wrong one - I actually once met someone who took a summer job here thinking she was taking a job in Ireland, and only later found out about her mistake ;)

    As for Tesla sales: because Tesla never bothered to come here, a private individual (Gísli Gíslason) shipped in dozens of Model Ss and has been selling them (at very inflated prices). And they absolutely are selling nonetheless. Just yesterday I happened to walk into the parking lot just across from my place and there was a Model S parked right there. The concept that there would only be 30 Model 3 sales, with supercharging available, is just not remotely accurate.

    Again: Tesla is building superchargers in areas with far less population than Iceland. So this argument simply does not hold water.

    Tesla's built plus planned superchargers for the US is, what, around 4000? With about 2000 built? Scaling simply by population (which IMHO does Iceland a strong disservice for the many reasons laid out earlier) means that Iceland should have four superchargers, with two of them built. Where are they? Four superchargers would be a godsend for Iceland. Heck, as laid out earlier, even two would be amazing for electrifying transport here.
     
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  13. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    Thats individual stalls. So yeah, if we scaled for population Iceland would have about a half of a supercharger, which they round to zero. Also, comparing Iceland to Norway is a terrible idea, Norway is a massive EV market, with 45,000 PHEV/BEVs sold vs Iceland's 862. Looking just at EVs available in both countries the Leaf sold 40x the number in Norway compared with Iceland.

    Despite your claims, it seems Icelanders just don't care about EVs in numbers sufficient to justify a Tesla presence. Hopefully that will change in the future.
     
  14. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    #54 KarenRei, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    Fine - ~4000x current+planned stalls, 1000:1 population ratio (actually more than that), 4-stall station = 1 supercharger station. And for the many reasons I mentioned earlier, the number should be much higher. To reiterate:

    * The importance of deploying a supercharger is not directly proportional to the population. For example, Wyoming has 6 (becoming 12) supercharger stations (dozens of stalls) for 560k people. Using that ratio, Iceland should have 3-4 supercharger stations at present with plans to bring that up to 7. Why does Wyoming have so many superchargers relative to its population? Because population is only one part of the equation; the lower the population density, the more essential superchargers are. Iceland has a low population density. The number of car purchases one can expect is proportional to the available population times the percentage of the population willing to make a purchase. The percentage of the population willing to make a purchase is directly proportional to the percentage for which the vehicle can meet their needs. If you can't drive where you need to go, it doesn't meet your needs.

    * You may counter that by saying "what about through traffic?" Well, those figures are represented in vehicles per day. And I already showed how one of Wyoming's interstates compares to Iceland's road traffic - want me to do I90 and I25 too? There's just not that much through traffic.

    * All of the other reasons still apply: people commonly come here for ecological reasons. Our gas prices are among the most expensive on Earth. EVs avoid the vörugjald, which can be as high as 65% of a vehicle's cost. Our power is almost 100% renewable. Our population is concentrated into a single ring road, making it easier to grant access to. Our speed limits are low, which means EVs go further, which means that each station covers a much larger area. And on and on and on.

    Iceland has the third highest percentage of vehicle sales being EV in Europe in 2016:

    https://c1cleantechnicacom-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/files/2016/08/EV-Market-Share-Europe.png

    This despite our infrastructure for them being terrible, unlike Norway which has been built into every last remote area. Our rate at the end of December was 5% of all vehicle sales:

    EV Sales: Iceland December 2016

    A supercharger costs $100-$175k to set up. So let's go with that. Let's say that with the advent of the Model E, our numbers (which are growing quickly) "only" reach 1,5k per year, and over the next decade only grow to 4,5k per year - let's keep up the pessimism. Let's say that a Tesla's amortization, maintenance, and operations costs minus their profits means Tesla loses $100k on every supercharger over the course of ten years - that is, let's assume they're pure loss leaders and never become profitable. The new baseline EV sales over that ten-year period would be 30000. Let's say that Tesla only gets a third of them in our supercharger-free scenario. Let's say that Tesla makes only $1000 per car - that's lower than average. So they'd need to sell an additional 100 vehicles to justify that supercharger cost. Which is 1% of our pessimistic total. Are you seriously going to argue that adding a supercharger wouldn't increase Tesla sales by a mere 1%? In our pessimistic scenario? That adding ten superchargers - enough to reach every corner of the country with ease - wouldn't increase them by 10%?
     
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  15. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    #55 KarenRei, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    To sum up the myths so far:

    * "Icelanders aren't interested in EVs" - Icelanders are purchasing EVs at the third highest rate in Europe, despite having much worse charging infrastructure.

    * "Icelanders aren't wealthy enough" - Iceland at present is probably in the top ten highest per-capita incomes in the world. Meanwhile, we pay one of the world's highest rates for gasoline, making them an economically easy choice.

    * "Icelanders don't use cars enough" - Iceland is fifth in the world in vehicles per capita.

    * "Icelanders don't drive enough" - Iceland's daily average vehicle traffic on the ring road is higher than many places that Tesla has already built up (and is now densifying). Icelanders frequently have vehicles, despite how compact Reykjavík is, specifically to drive significant distances. Reykjavíkingar have family and friends spread out around the country, summer home ownership in the countryside is very common, camping/hiking/countryside festivals are very popular, and for people who live in the countryside, they regularly have to drive long distances for shopping, services, and many other things.

    * "Regulations in Iceland are too challenging" - Iceland generally follows EU regulations, unlike many places Tesla is moving into, as well as having a clean, reliable grid (again, unlike many other markets).

    * "The cost of a supercharger can't be justified" - The cost of a supercharger absolutely can be easily justified, even as a pure loss leader.

    * "Proportionally, Iceland doesn't deserve any superchargers until there's more total deployed." - Even if you don't take into account population density when comparing to other developed nations, Iceland should at least have a supercharger planned. If you take into account other nations or portions of nations with similar population density, Iceland is way behind the curve on number of superchargers.

    Did I cover all of them?
     
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  16. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yet you putting a lot of time and effort into posting in this thread -- and apparently getting rather agitated about the issue when others disagree with you -- explaining why Tesla should start building Superchargers and selling in Iceland.

    It is unlikely that your posts in this thread are going to have any impact on Tesla. Maybe. But unlikely. Probably a more effective approach would be to synthesize the large amount of data you have posted here and direct it to Tesla's VP of European operations.

    Or just keep posting here and complaining. Your choice.
     
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  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Wyoming has many Superchargers because:
    (1) it's in the Western USA
    (2) it has Yellowstone National Park
    (3) it has the West-East Interstate I-80
    (4) Tesla's first cross-country drive passed through there.

    Jordan probably has many Superchargers because it paid for them.

    I would suspect that Tesla doesn't have a Supercharger indicated as planned in Iceland because
    (1) Island
    (2) Small market
    (3) Cold climate needs a high density of Superchargers to drive the loop.
    (4) The map is only 1 year ahead
     
  18. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Some of the responses in this thread bother me.

    First, Iceland has sales potential for Tesla much higher than do a number of countries already well covered, partly because of EV popularity, partly because of Iceland buyer preferences.
    Second, that Tesla will not respond to initiatives from new markets. Jordan has Superchargers because serious Jordanian leadership demanded them, and paid for them. Tesla sold the Superchargers to Jordanians.
    Third (implied): Tesla will ignore now small, but growing markets. New Zealand ended out with a Service center and Superchargers because of Kiwi initiative by importing teslas privately and agitating.
    There are a fair number of other examples.
    Beyond those Iceland has the demographic and vehicle use patterns that would allow Tesla to make a large impact very quickly. They like such situations. They loved Hong Kong which proved a very small place could have vastly disproportionate sales. Government policy did change, but Tesla is well established there now.

    Were a group of interested Icelanders to put together a proposal Tesla would listen, especially with a recounting of the success already of private sales. For the record, all indications are that Russia will soon have an official service center authorized, even though private sales are the entire basis of Tesla presence there. Check out Moscow Tesla Club.

    I will not suggest this would be an effortless project. In fact some governmental support in terms of import facilitation and infrastructure assistance will help a great deal. Financial inducements help but non-financial bureaucratic smoothness will also be a big factor.

    Please devote serious effort to a pitch, and discuss the matter with Tesla people too. You might be surprised.

    Then, quite a number of places that have Superchargers, especially in Other America, Europe and China, are there to prove easy charging access to areas traveled by tourists and other long range voyagers. A quick look at some remote locations that are on major highway paths show four-stall installations, a clear indication that they are there to fill network gaps rather than satisfy local demand. Thus, Superchargers satisfy three distinct but complementary roles:
    1. Provide local charging in areas where residential charging in difficult (e.g. Hong Kong, London, New York City, Shanghai);
    2. Provide easy fast charging access for Tesla travelers;
    3. Provide a major service by removing objections for non-owners of Tesla who think long-distance travel is not possible.

    Then there is the quickest and easiest way to establish a charging network prior to and in conjunction with Superchargers. Tesla Destination chargers are provided essentially free to interested businesses, from hotels and restaurants to public shopping centers and parking faculties as well as multi-family housing facilities. Those can make practical Tesla deployment fairly easy before Superchargers can be justified. The questions of sales and service facilities are different, and are more immediately influenced by positive governmental support.

    So, nobody serious can doubt that Iceland can be a very important market for Tesla and do so quickly. For that to happen agitation helps.

    For the record, Brazil is the sixth largest car market in the world and sells some decent numbers of high end cars. However, regressive government policies and deeply entrenched bureaucracy makes it unattractive while lots of smaller but easier countries remain to be served. Your challenge to make Iceland entry really easy, show that the government will be supportive and uncorrupt. Coupled with a highly educated and sophisticated populace Tesla will find the opportunity simple to accept. All you need to do is sell Iceland.

    FWIW, I'm an easy advocate based on my experiences as a foreigner who transited Iceland while flying small airplanes between North America and continental Europe. It takes little knowledge of Iceland to prove how attractive it should be for Tesla.
     
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  19. KarenRei

    KarenRei ᴉǝɹuǝɹɐʞ

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    Thanks for your response, jb. Perhaps I'm unfairly pessimistic about the odds of Tesla actually listening because to a proposal because of my experience with them when I ran a startup OEM (I had much better experience with all other manufacturers that we dealt with). But perhaps there's a difference when coming from the perspective of a consumer rather than a supplier. Were any of your examples (Hong Kong, Russia, etc) the result of Tesla actually taking into account consumer feedback in terms of their planning, or was it just their internal decision-making process?

    Maybe I should get in touch with Gísli and see what work he's already done in this regard and where we could maybe go from here.
     
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  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    Interesting thread, and for the record I too think Iceland could be a Tesla paradise for all concerned. Would Icelanders and businesses buy Teslas if the nearest service center was a ferry away ?

    I'm not too surprised that Tesla avoided a formal presence in Iceland with the Model S and Model X, but the Model 3 might change things quickly and dramatically.
     
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