Iceland’s natural treasures.

Massive icebergs stand stark on the horizon while glittering ice floes drift breezily across the surface of the crystal-clear water: the orange charging station is located in a parking space right in front of Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon that is one of Iceland’s most remarkable natural treasures. While our EQC is charging, we go limp with awe taking in the staggering panorama through our windscreen while enjoying back massages provided by the seats of our electric SUV. A tongue from the Vatnajökull glacier protrudes into the lake. We have the place almost to ourselves. Our only company are the seals that, thanks to the midnight sun, we can see curiously emerging from the water. In late June, the sun sets at about 1:30 a.m. and rises again an hour later at 2:30, so it is almost always light. 

Idyllic energy boost: Icelandic loading point.

Sandy roads leading to the snow: the Icelandic landscape is incredibly multifaceted.

Locally emission-free journey.

Our somewhat unconventional plan is to drive by night and sleep by day. Attached to the EQC’s tow hitch is our base camp, a Mink Camper. Weighing less than 500 kilos, this miniature caravan is little more than a bed on wheels. We park where possible, wherever we fancy, and the camper’s blackout blinds mean that we can sleep during the day and drive at night, thereby avoiding the hordes of tourists here at this time of year.

With or without a camper attached, the EQC driver won’t experience range anxiety in Iceland. The state-of-the-art navigation system provides up-to-date information on charging stations and displays destinations that are in range, so we can relax and enjoy our locally emission-free journey. Furthermore, the speed limit of 90 kilometres per hour ensures that we savour every metre of our journey with the EQC. 

Increased range.

Charging is also stress-free. Fast-charging stations, which can charge a battery from ten to 80 per cent in less than an hour, are located at regular intervals along the 1,300-kilometre Ring Road, also known as Route 1. After just one electricity-powered day of driving, it’s clear that practical charging times will be the key to relaxed driving in the future. The EQC’s acceleration is impressive, though (for the record: from 0 to 100 in 5.1 seconds, thanks in part to a permanent all-wheel drive). 

But after a little while on the long and winding road, our attention shifts from the speedometer to the electric motor’s power meter, which shows the amount of recuperation as electricity generated by kinetic energy when braking or driving downhill flows back into the battery. Meanwhile, predictive driving enables us to increase our range by between 10 and 20 per cent. 

Pull over – and plunge into the Blue Lagoon near the capital, Reykjavik.

Electricity from renewable sources.

Anyway, no one comes all the way to Iceland looking for speed. Instead, we’re trying to fulfil the dream of so many globetrotters such as ourselves: to make a locally emission-free road trip through one of the world’s most impressive landscapes. One hundred per cent of the electricity from every single socket in this country comes from renewable sources, with 75 per cent of that coming from hydropower and 25 per cent from thermal power. We observe how the latter is produced at two separate stops on our journey: beside the airport on Reykjanes Peninsula and by Lake Mývatn in the north of the country. Here, we observe from just a few metres as the turbines turn steam into megawatts. 

Fall asleep to dream.

As steam hisses from the chimneys, the vibrations beneath our feet give a hint of the enormous power coming from the drill holes, some of which are more than 2,000 metres deep.

Night after night, we glide through Iceland’s awe-inspiring countryside, leaving nothing behind us but the quiet sound of our wheels turning on the tarmac. We can drive into the camping sites at seven in the morning without waking anyone up. Over breakfast (which is actually our dinner), we are surrounded by curious tourists. As they admire the wonder of our electric car, we lie down in the camper and fall asleep to dream of elves and trolls.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur in Iceland’s Southern Region: 19 letters long and plenty of green.

More information.

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