Natalie and Rob Carswell from Dorset are believed to be the first people from the UK to complete Iceland’s famous ‘Route One’ ring road in electric car – and now hope other tourists will follow suit.
It took just six days for the Carswells, who run SPARK+VOLT: Electric Adventure Gear, based in Poole, to complete the drive in a Renault Zoe and BMW i3.
The couple began their journey by picking up an electric Renault Zoe in Reykjavik, but later swapped to a BMW i3 as they headed further north in order to tackle the tougher terrain.
They completed the 828-mile round trip back to Iceland’s capital in six days, despite stopping multiple times to visit tourist hotspots such as the Geysir Hot Springs, Friðheimar Geothermal Tomato Farm, Skógafoss Waterfall and the Glacier Lagoon.
The couple were motivated to conquer ‘Route One’ after starting their electric-car inspired clothing company in August last year.
“We believe electric cars powered by renewable energy are the future of transport for people and the planet,” said Rob.
“We want to help people understand the benefits of electric transport powered by renewable energy, so last year we started SPARK+VOLT – the world’s only clothing company dedicated to spreading the word about electric transport.
“A huge part of our business is about promoting adventures in electric vehicles, so people can see what they are capable of.
“Iceland’s ring road, with its mountainous terrain and stretches of unmade road, provided the perfect opportunity for us to show what electric cars can do.
“Route One is a popular route for road trippers, and we hope other tourists will be inspired to ditch the gas and make the journey electrically now they know it can be done.”
Natalie added: “It’s actually far more enjoyable driving an electric car through stunning tranquil scenery without a dirty engine roaring.
“Our journey was also hundreds of pounds cheaper than it would have been if we’d been paying for fuel.”
“When you see the breathtaking natural beauty of Iceland, with its glaciers, mountains and volcanoes, it makes you even more determined to protect the planet in any way you can.
“So many tourists hire cars to travel Route One every year; it’s our biggest hope other people will hear our story and choose to hire electric cars for their journey in order to help protect this beautiful environment.”