Dear Wheego Enthusiast:
Viva Las Vegas!
Wheego Electric Cars spent a week in Las Vegas this month, at the National Auto
Dealers Association annual show. We met with interested dealers from across the
country, and will keep you apprised as we add new dealers to our network!
Claremont Dealership Selling Electric Vehicles
Excerpted from an article by Wes Woods in the Contra Costa Times, Feb 9, 2012.
Jimmy Hibbard, General Manager at Richard Hibbard Auto Center in Claremont, talks
about the Wheego electric cars the lot sells. The car comes in either a low speed model
(with a top speed of 35mph) and full speed model (with a top speed of 65mph).
The vehicles can run up to 100 miles on a charge with prices starting at $21,000.
(Will Lester, Contra Costa Times Photographer)
CLAREMONT, CA - Richard Hibbard Auto Center general manager Jimmy Hibbard
said electric vehicles are the wave of the future but some people are not ready to
“It’s getting people over that fear they have over the whole electric idea,” Hibbard
said in a recent interview. “Like, ‘what if I run out of charge on the freeway.’ They
have a mode where you wouldn’t get stranded on the freeway. You could go
another three to five miles on the freeway at a lower speed. It’s just people’s perception.”
The dealership, which recently received Wheego electric cars and Zapino electric
scooters, held a barbecue lunch last week that included a blood drive and test
drives to get people more comfortable with the vehicles.
The bubble-shaped Wheego LiFe goes 65 mph, has driver and passenger
airbags, anti-lock brakes, power windows and locks and optional air conditioning.
The 115V lithium battery pack can be charged from a standard 120V outlet, a
240V outlet or any of the J1772 standard charging stations being installed in public
locations nationwide – but not in Claremont.
The LiFe gets about 100 miles on a single charge. It starts at more than $32,000
and qualifies for federal and state tax credits.
The center will also carry the Wheego Whip low-speed vehicle, which is a
subcompact car designed for campuses and city driving that goes 35 mph.
It costs more than $19,000.
“I think it’s exciting,” said Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza about the dealership’s
electric vehicles. “I believe it’s a great fit for our town. They’re a great, viable
dealership that knows what they’re doing and has electric cars as one of their
Susan Nicholson, spokeswoman for Wheego, said the area’s potential to sell
electric vehicles was large because state air regulators had passed a mandate
in late January to have 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles on state roads by
2025. “It’s just a huge market in that part of country and California in particular,”
Nicholson said. “The momentum is building and they wanted to be a part of that.”
Nicholson said the agreement between her company and Hibbard was a couple
of months old.
The cars are put together in Ontario.
“We have people stop by just because they’re curious,” said Michele Henson,
sales manager for the auto center. "It’s so little." Henson, who is interested
in owning one, said potential customers frequently ask her about the vehicle’s
range, which is 100 miles per charge.
“It can be your only car if it fits your lifestyle. Or it can be your second car to use
as a commuter. I (personally) live 38 miles away. So I can definitely use it.”
Pennsylvania Taking Steps to Welcome LSVs
The Wheego Whip and other low-speed electric vehicles are not currently allowed
to operate in Pennsylvania. This month, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill
sponsored by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (great name for an EV enthusiast) that
would allow the operation of low-speed electric vehicles on certain roadways in
the Commonwealth. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for
consideration; read more about the bill here
. We are hopeful we'll soon be able
to send the Wheego Whip to Susquehanna Dodge, our Wrightsville, Pennsylvania
California passes landmark rules to curb auto emissions
This article by Paul Rogers appeared January 27th on MercuryNews.com
Transforming the next decade of America's auto industry, the California Air
Resources Board on Friday approved historic new rules that require 15 percent
of new cars sold in California by 2025 run on electricity, hydrogen or other
systems producing little or no smog. The board, meeting in Los Angeles,
voted 9-0 to approve the package of "advanced clean car rules." The rules
also require automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent on
all new vehicles by 2025 and tailpipe emissions of soot and smog by roughly
75 percent over the same time period.
The greenhouse rules are nearly identical to new national rules being developed
by the Obama administration -- and will result in new cars averaging 54.5 miles
per gallon by 2025, double today's fleet average for new cars.
"If you talk to anybody, they wish they could drive more efficient cars with less
pollution," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, an air board member.
"People are spending way too much for gas, and they wish they didn't have to
spend as much," he said. "The fact we are going to change what consumers can
buy and what they can drive -- which is really what they want -- is one of the
most important things we are doing."
Despite the dramatic changes for gasoline and diesel vehicles, the provisions
that gained the most widespread attention will force every major automaker,
starting in 2018, to increase in showrooms the number of electric vehicles, like
the Nissan Leaf, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, like the Chevrolet Volt, along with
some hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles. The effect would be that 1.4 million such vehicles
would be sold by 2025 if the rules are successful. Today there are only about
10,000 in the state.
The air board, established in 1967 by Gov. Ronald Reagan, has for more than
40 years set standards to reduce pollution from cars. Its 11 members, appointed
by the governor, made California the first state to ban leaded gasoline, require
catalytic converters and smog checks and require reductions in greenhouse
gases. (Read more of the article here
Cayman Automotive striving for a greener future
The following is excerpted from article in the CayCompass, January 23, 2012.
Cayman Automotive is leading the way in
introducing eco-conscious personal
transportation to the Cayman Islands
and the entire Caribbean. Thanks to new
legislation, electric vehicles from Cayman
Automotive will soon be zipping up and down the Islands’ roadways.
The company strives for a more environmentally responsible future, committing to
the use of alternative, renewable energy sources and less dependence on fossil fuels.
Specializing in sales and leasing of new and pre-owned US-manufactured vehicles,
Cayman Automotive was the first company in the Caribbean to introduce electric
vehicles, bringing the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to the Cayman
Islands in 2011.
In October, the company received its first Wheego fully electric vehicle, with a
maximum speed of 85 mph and a range of 100 miles.
Alongside importing electric-powered vehicles, Cayman Automotive President
John Felder has been working with a team of energy management experts to
establish a network of charging stations for electric vehicles throughout Grand
Cayman. Cayman Automotive has been developing plans in collaboration with
experts from Corporate Electric, U-Go-Station-Cayman and the US-based Eaton
corporation to ensure the underlying infrastructure is in place so that as soon
as laws are finalized, charging stations can be installed and customers will be
able to use their electric vehicles, safe in the knowledge that they will not run
out of power.
In June, Mr. Felder unveiled the first solar panel charging station for electric
vehicles at Governors Square. It will be the first such charging station, not
only in the Cayman Islands, but in the Caribbean. The first charging station
will have two parking spaces and uses a modular design with solar panels
built as a canopy above the parking spaces. When not being used to charge
vehicles, power generated by the solar panels will be fed back into the CUC grid,
and when there is insufficient sunlight to charge batteries, additional power can
be drawn from the grid.
Mr. Felder has been working for the past six years to bring electric vehicles to
the Cayman Islands. Early electric vehicles were not commercially viable due to
their slow speeds and short ranges. Improved technology means that these
problems are in large part being overcome and all the 100 per cent electric
vehicles now being offered have passed the U.S. Safety and Crash Tests standards.
The introduction of the first solar-powered charging station in the Caribbean is the
result of a collaboration between various Caymanian and U.S. businesses
(Cayman Automotive, Corporate Electric, U-Go Stations, Inc.) and the US based
Eaton, all of whom have contributed their expertise to help move the Cayman
Islands towards a greener tomorrow.
Even with the vehicles on hand and charging stations installed, changes to
legislation were still necessary to allow all-electric vehicles to operate on Cayman’s
roads. In December, Governor Duncan Taylor signed the revised Cayman Islands
Traffic Law, which included provisions to legalize the use of all-electric vehicles,
such as the Wheego.
Provisions for both neighborhood electric vehicles and electric-powered cars that
can be driven on Cayman Islands roads alongside gas-powered cars were
included in the Traffic Bill.
Neighborhood electric vehicles are lower-powered cars generally driven on side
streets and parking lots, but which cannot be driven on main thoroughfares.
Larger, faster brands of electric-powered vehicles will be allowed to be registered
for use on local roads.
Right now, most electric-powered vehicles can’t be registered in the Cayman
Islands because they can’t go fast enough and some only travel up to 40 to 50
miles on a charge.
However, vehicles currently being imported by Cayman Automotive can travel at
speeds of 65 to 85 miles per hour and can drive up to 100 miles on a charge.
Legislators also have passed the Motor Vehicle Insurance (Third Party Risk)
Amendment Bill 2011 to enable electric vehicles travelling on public roads to be
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The Wheego Team