Allelectric Wheego LiFe arrives at local dealer The Columbus Dispatch

11 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Allelectric Wheego LiFe arrives at local dealer The Columbus Dispatch отключены
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars

All-electric Wheego LiFe arrives at local dealer

Local dealer begins selling new model from startup carmaker

The Dispatch E-Edition

View Slideshow Tom Dodge Auto Center Southeast in Groveport, formerly Saturn Southeast, now sells the all-electric LiFe. The car is made by Wheego, based in Atlanta.

All-electric Wheego LiFe arrives at local dealer —

When you hit the accelerator, the Wheego LiFe sounds like a jet, even though it looks more like a hatchback that got hit by a mad scientist’s shrink ray.

The subcompact car is the first all-electric vehicle available in central Ohio, now being sold at Auto Center Southeast in Groveport.

Wheego, based in Atlanta, is one of several electric-car startups.

The LiFe, a name that refers to the lithium-iron battery system, has a top speed of 65mph and a range of about 100 miles on a full charge. The sticker price is $32,995, before a $7,500 federal tax credit.


The point of all this is we’re starting a conversation, said Sheldon Topy, a sales coordinator at the local dealership.

Auto Center Southeast, formerly Saturn Southeast, has added the Wheego franchise because of a belief that all-electric cars will find an audience.

The company that owns the store also owns Nissan North and Mitsubishi North on the Far North Side and Mitsubishi West in Hilliard, stores that eventually will sell the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV.

At the same time, Topy is realistic about the sales prospects of such a new name and new technology. The store has only one of the cars in stock and hasn’t sold any in the few weeks it has been available. The dealership is mainly a used-car store.

On a test drive, the LiFe is almost silent on side streets. Then, when it turns onto a highway, the smooth acceleration is accompanied by a high-pitched hum.

Wheego LiFE Electric Cars

Wheego was started in 2008, initially specializing in low-speed electric vehicles for recreational and commercial uses.

The LiFe is the company’s first vehicle that meets the performance and safety requirements to be driven on U.S. highways. So far, about 20 have been produced, and Wheego is filling orders for several hundred more, a spokeswoman said.

The company is one of several relatively new automakers that hope to find a niche in electric vehicles.

One of the others, Coda Automotive, plans to release its sedan by the end of the year and also is planning to build a battery plant in Columbus. The factory is contingent on a Department of Energy loan application that is pending.

We’re in a new era, and it is potentially possible to start a new automobile company and succeed, said John O’Dell, a senior editor for Edmunds.com, the automotive website.

But he thinks most of these startups will be unable to compete with the established companies that also are trying to get into the electric-vehicle game, such as Nissan, Ford, Toyota and others. The best hope for these new companies might be to develop strong enough technology to become an acquisition target for one of those established players, O’Dell said.

Topy is confident that a market will develop for electric vehicles, especially if fuel prices remain at $3.50 per gallon or higher.

When you’re sitting in traffic and everyone else is burning gas, the only power you’re using is to run the radio and the air conditioning, he said.

Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars

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