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USA: U.S. Sen. Merkley on ‘border to border, oil-free’ trek


U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley drives a Nissan Leaf through Ashland Tuesday near the end of a road trip from Oregon’s northern border to California. Daily Tidings / Jamie Lusch

Nobody heard U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s ultra-quiet Nissan Leaf and the convoy of electric vehicles surrounding him pull off Interstate 5 into Ashland Tuesday. It was his last recharge spot before cresting the Siskiyou Mountains into California and completing a 340-mile, electric-propelled road trip from Oregon’s northern border.

Merkley made nine stops to plug in the Nissan over the two-day trip, he said, a part of his “border to border, oil-free” campaign to support U.S. efforts to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

The all-electric Nissan “handles just like a regular car,” Merkley said. It recharges in as little as 30 minutes, has a battery range of 80 to 120 miles, and costs about $17,500, not including state and federal tax incentives for purchasing electric vehicles.
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