Socket to me: The Nissan LEAF.

Electric cars are good and all, but how useful are they if you can’t take them on vacation? That all changes with the new plan to turn Washington’s chunk of I-5 and Highway 2 into electric superhighways.

By November 2, charging stations will be installed every 40 to 60 miles north of Everett and between Olympia and Oregon. The stations will work on cars like the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt, which can’t do long-haul electric trips without recharging. US 2 between Everett and Leavenworth will be an even more scenic plug-in route. Fuel stops take anywhere from 30 minutes to six hours, depending on the speed of the station and how much juice is needed.

This puts Washington at the forefront of building the West Coast Green Highway, which will have electric power available for all 1,350 miles of I-5 that stretch from Canada to Mexico. That means your next jaunt to Tijuana can do less harm to the earth than the trip does to your liver.

But wait, you say. I own a gas-guzzling SUV and am feeling guilty about taking it to Portland this winter! Never fear; you can rent these newfangled electric cars. Enterprise announced this week that Seattle joins their list of cities offering Nissan LEAF electric vehicles; head to the University District location at 5715 Roosevelt Way NE.

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