Electric car with affordable price tag?

LOS ANGELES The documentary film "/*Who Killed the Electric Car?*/" chronicled the demise of /*General Motors*/'s EV1. The /*EV1*/ was the first modern production /*electric vehicle*/.

However, /*Nissan*/ might be helping usher in the dawn of a new era for electrics. For the majority of drivers, the cars could be a viable way to get around pollution-free.

"People drive 40 miles a day. They really do," said Mark Perry, Nissan spokesperson. "What do you do with your car? You from home, to work, you do a couple of errands and you're back home again."

Nissan announced they will be offering an electric car in late 2010. You would be able to charge it at home overnight, or at other locations in a couple of hours.

Many electric cars being developed these days tend to have high price estimates. But Nissan says their five-passenger electric car will be priced like a mainstream vehicle. It may also look different than the test vehicle the company showed off recently.

"We're looking at this as mass marketing. So, the biggest part of the business in the car market, kind of transacts between $25,000 on the low end and $33,000 on the high," said Perry.

The best part about the Nissan electric car is the cost to recharge, which is estimated to be about $1. Nissan says even if gas were to fall to the unlikely price of $1.10 per gallon, the electric would still be cheaper to run.

Two of the big issues for electric cars have always been how far you can drive and the cost of the battery. Nissan says their car will have a range of about 100 miles. Nissan also says they have been working on this type of vehicle for some time and they say estimates of battery packs costing tens of thousands of dollars are not accurate.

"Our engineers have been working hard," said Perry. "We have been doing lithium ion battery packs for about 17 years now. So it's our intellectual property. Our guys have done a wonderful job. So our pack, we know its cost, we know its performance. And those other numbers you're talking about [are] not correct."

Electric vehicle enthusiasts have been waiting for something like the Nissan.

"This is a hot car. I like this car a lot," said Paul Scott, /*Plug In America*/. "It was very responsive. As somebody who has been driving an electric car for six years, this car is vastly superior to the car I'm driving."

If Nissan stays on track, some people could be driving right past the gas pumps in about 1 1/2 years.



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