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Back From Asia, Governor Kulongoski Talks Electric Cars, Economy

Just back from a trade mission to Asia, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is talking up the state’s chances of being at the forefront of electric car technology.  Salem correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

The Governor met with car and auto parts manufacturers in Japan and China.  He signed a deal that gives the state first crack at buying Nissan’s electric vehicles when they hit the market, in about two years.  

For Oregon, that means building a network of charging stations for people to plug in their cars at work or at home.

While in Japan, Kulongoski got behind the wheel of a Nissan electric car prototype.  He said it’s a different kind of driving experience.

Ted Kulongoski:  “There’s no noise.  In fact, you have to get used to the fact that when you turn the key on … you know, we wait for the grind.  There is no grind.  You just push the pedal and off you go.”

But Kulongoski’s effort to make his green agenda his legacy may take a backseat.  While he was gone, revenue forecasters predicted a billion dollar budget hole.  

Kulongoski’s due to present his next two-year budget proposal on Monday.  The Governor says it will include a $2 billion job creation package.


Click here to watch Nissan corporate video of Governor Ted Kulongoski driving an electric car.

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