Drive from Medford to Portland on electricity

Drive from Medford to Portland on electricity »Play Video

CORVALLIS, Ore.--- Imagine driving from Medford to Portland using electricity instead of gas. That may be the case as early as the end of 2010. Nissan is using Oregon as a launching pad for its first mass produced full electric car.

"The car is real, the technology is real, and we're coming to market in 18 months," said Mark Perry, director of Product Planning for Nissan. "We're out of the lab and onto the factory floor."

They chose Oregon because they say the state has a green ethic -- and Oregon has some of the highest per-capita hybrid car numbers across the nation. "The support we've had from the state of Oregon has been outstanding," Perry said.

Nissan is working with the state of Oregon to establish over 100 "charge up" stations along Interstate 5, meaning you could drive an electric car from Medford all the way to Portland. These stations would be "supercharged" and could recharge your battery in less than thirty minutes.

Here are the stats on Nissan's electric car.

  • Goes 100 miles on one charge
  • The car takes about 4 hours to charge up
  • All you need is a 220 volt line to charge (same as hot tub or electric dryer)
  • Will raise your power bill about $2 per charge.
  • Car can reach highway speeds
  • Actual retail price is still pending, we're told less than $33,000
  • Zero emissions

The car's name is top secret and won't be revealed until the car hits the streets in 2010.

With a $7,500 tax credit for buying an alternative fueled vehicle already in place and a bill in Salem that may add another $5,000 tax credit, it might be even less expensive to buy one of these cars.  

"We're excited about the potential here because we think we can grow from here and show the rest of the country how to do zero emission mobility." Perry said.

"I'm really impressed, it looks like a pretty regular car, it looks pretty roomy inside," Marilyn Slizeski said upon seeing the car. She is excited to see Oregon at the forefront of new technology. "It's really going to put Oregon on the map," she added.