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March 2013

  

Dear Wheego Enthusiast:

Still on the fence about buying an EV? Check out this article by Felix Kramer and Max Baumhefner for The Energy Collective. (Excerpts follow; read the full article on their website.)



Good and Green Reasons to Consider an Electric Car This Year
When it comes to consumer products, environmentalists generally don’t encourage people to buy new and buy now. But that’s what we're about to do because electric cars are significantly cleaner than gasoline vehicles, and driving one can save you serious cash at the pump.
 
Perhaps you’ve already thought about buying an electric car, but dismissed the idea for one reason or another. Let's look at some common misconceptions, and offer some good reasons why you might want to reconsider:
 
“I should drive my current car into the ground.”
“Hold on,” you say to yourself, “I already own a car that gets 25 miles a gallon. I want to get my money’s worth from the investment.” The sooner you start saving gas, the better it is for the planet and your pocketbook. There’s no use in throwing good money after bad at the pump, and the sooner you sell your current car, the less money you’ll lose to depreciation.
 
“I’d just be switching my pollution from the tailpipe to the power plant.”
If you want to go green, driving on electricity is a clear winner. Using today’s average American electricity mix of natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar, an electric car emits half the amount of climate-changing carbon pollution per mile as the average new vehicle. In states with cleaner mixes, such as California, it’s only a quarter as much. To find out how clean your electric car would be today, plug your zip code into the EPA’s “Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator.” You should also know that, because old coal plants are increasingly being retired and replaced by cleaner and renewable resources, plug-in cars are the only cars that become cleaner as they age.
 
“What I save on gas, I’ll pay in electricity.”
On average US residential electricity rates, driving one of today’s electric cars is the equivalent of driving a 27 mile-per-gallon car on buck-a-gallon gasoline. It’s been that way for the last four decades, and is forecasted to stay that way for the next three decades. Experts basically throw up their hands when asked to predict the price of gas next year, let alone 30 years from now. One thing we do know: the price at the pump will jump up and down due to geopolitical events beyond our control. If you’re tired of that rollercoaster, call your local utility to ask about electricity rates designed for plug-in cars.
 
 “I’ll hold off until prices go down and there are more places to charge.”
 If you’re thinking you’d be better off waiting for a cheaper, better electric car, and a charging station on every block, consider the following:

  • Modern electric cars start well below $30,000.  Even better, there’s a federal tax credit worth $7,500, and states like California have rebates of up to $2,500, which mean you can buy an electric car for under $20,000 or lease one at a very attractive price. Still thinking of waiting for a better deal? Those incentives won’t last forever.
  • A variety of high-quality electric cars are available today. There are over 80,000 of them on America’s streets.
  • Public charging stations are proliferating rapidly, but you don’t need to wait for them to be as abundant as gas stations.  Drivers of plug-in cars enjoy fuel that comes to them, relying on home charging to meet the vast majority of their needs.
 
 “I often need to drive farther than electric vehicles can go without recharging.”
Broadly speaking, electric cars come in two flavors: all-electric and plug-in hybrid. The second has no range limitations whatsoever; they have batteries sufficient for normal trips (between 10 and 40 miles, depending on the model), and they become efficient gasoline hybrids for longer trips. If you want one car to do it all, a plug-in hybrid is a great option.
 
If, however, your household has more than one vehicle, an all-electric is an ideal “second car” you’ll end up using most of the time. All-electrics have ranges between 60 and 265 miles, more than enough for the daily commute. When it comes time for the long road trip, you can always take the other car.
 
When you get behind the wheel of an electric car, you'll experience the joy of full torque from a standstill and a super-quiet cabin. You may have a hard time going back to a machine that relies exclusively on thousands of explosions of fossil fuel every minute.

 
The following is excerpted from an article by Jerry Rice for Foothills Magazine, a publication serving the Ontario, California area. The full article appears on their website.
 
Plug in, power up and drive
Assembled in the Inland Empire, the Wheego is roadworthy fun
The Wheego is a lot of things: sporty, cute, comfortable, eco-friendly. “I like the adjective ‘zippy,’ ” says Michele Henson, a sales manager at Richard Hibbard Auto Center in Claremont, where we went for a test drive recently.

Yes, it is that too. Sitting behind the wheel of the two-seat Wheego LiFe, it appears to have many of the same features as its full-size gasoline-powered brethren — air conditioning, power steering, power-assisted four wheel disc brakes with ABS, an AM/FM radio with a CD player and inputs for an MP3 player and iPod, and — perhaps most surprising to yours truly — about the same head and leg room as the four-door Pontiac sedan that I drive.

But there’s an extra Wheego feature that most cars on the road don’t have: It’s assembled here in the Inland Empire.

Produced by Atlanta-based Wheego Electric Cars Inc., the LiFe model travels freeway speeds up to 65 mph, and has a range of 100 miles. It’s powered by a 115-volt lithium battery pack, which may be charged by plugging it into a regular household electrical outlet. The sticker price is $32,995 (plus $1,995 for optional air conditioning). The vehicle qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit and an additional $2,000 rebate from the California Air Resources Board. And when it comes to safety, it has been developed to meet standards set
by the National highway Transportation and Safety Administration, including driver and passenger airbags and a reinforced-steel frame.
 
There’s another version, the Whip, which travels up to 35 mph and is primarily meant for tooling around the neighborhood — to the grocery store, the cleaners, a restaurant. The exterior looks essentially the same as the LiFe, except the headlight treatment, and costs $18,995. The interiors on both are fairly Spartan, so forget about the power seats and built-in TVs available in many new luxury cars. Another thing the Wheego lacks is a costly fill-up. Electric charging costs are 3 cents a mile, about $3 to fully charge the LiFe’s batteries. That’s what appealed to Jan and Bruce Ferguson of Venice, who purchased one in June 2011 and drive it about 7,500 miles a year. Their transportation costs have dropped to about $30 a month — which is “next to nothing,” Jan says. “I like that I haven’t been to a gas station in almost two years,” she adds. “I like the hatchback, which gives me space for a week’s worth of groceries and my dog; the fact that I can park it in many places I can’t park other cars, and that it gets a lot of notice. I get into a lot of conversations about it, which is kind of fun.”
 
AAA Offers Roadside Charging Trucks in Washington
AAA announced an addition to their roadside-charging program. The Seattle/Bellevue, Washington area is one of the first regions in the nation to have a mobile electric vehicle (EV) fast charging service to help EV owners with range anxiety. AAA now can assist members whose all-electric vehicles have run out of “fuel” with a fast roadside charge rather than towing them to a charging facility.
 

AAA Washington’s mobile charging truck is the first in the nation to have the electric vehicle charging generator powered by the power takeoff (PTO) of the truck’s engine. AAA Washington joins other AAA clubs in Oregon (Portland) and California (San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles) to provide roadside charging. The mobile charging trucks in these communities create charging power through an on-board generator that is powered by gasoline or alternative fuels.

 

 “AAA’s mobile electric vehicle charging is intended to be a service similar to what AAA has provided to motorists with gas-powered vehicles for nearly a century. When your vehicle runs out of fuel — whether it is traditional gasoline or electric ‘fuel’ — AAA can provide you with a limited amount to help you safely reach a location where you can fill up your tank or your battery,” explained John Milbrath, AAA Washington’s Member Services vice president. AAA has plans to also launch this service in Tampa Bay, Fla. and Knoxville, Tenn.



Wheego is on Pinterest – check us out at pinterest.com/wheegoec. We have picture boards for our Wheego Whip LSV, LiFe, dealers and more. 



Become a Wheego fan on facebook – stay in touch! 

  

http://www.facebook.com/wheego

Follow us on twitter: @wheego

As always, we thank you for your support. Please email your questions and suggestions to info@wheego.net.
  
Best Regards,
 
The Wheego Team
wheego.net


 


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