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Affordable all-electric Wheego makes world debut

Making its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Wheego has virtually no name recognition, but it' s about to set a pretty big milestone in the automotive industry.  In the super-competitive race to bring the first all-electric car to the American market since the Tesla Roadster, it' s on track to beat out every other auto maker.

Mike McQuary, the Wheego CEO says,  "This will be the first affordable all-electric car on the road, and the second available overall."

Headquartered in Atlanta, Wheego is the brainchild of Mike McQuary, the former president of Earthlink and Mindspring.  The two-seater will go 100 miles per charge and, wheego says, costs about a tenth of what it costs to fuel and maintain a gas-powered car.  With a sticker price of $33,000, it' s about $70,000 less than the only other electric option currently available, the Tesla Roadster.  With government tax incentives, you could shave another $12,000 off the price. Mike McQuary continues, "There' s no exhaust pipe anywhere in the car because there' s no exhaust fumes. no carbon monoxide, no pollutants in the air."

The Wheego drives and handles like a regular car. but if it' s a sports car you' re looking for, the Wheego' s top speed is 70 mph.  Experts gave the Wheego a cautious thumbs up. With the four-seater Nissan Leaf, the Coda and the electric hybrid Chevy Volt all set for release in the coming months, they advised consumers take a wait and see approach.

Mike Omotoso/sr. manager of Global Power Train Forecasting, JD Power says, "Consumers might want to wait a few years to increase their options. We' re expecting electric vehicles from all major car makers in the next 2 to 3 years."

Karl Brauer, Editor-at-Large, Edmunds.com says "The next couple years it' s gonna be fascinating. We' re going to see more advances in the drive train technology and what' s under the hood in the next 5 years than we' ve seen in the previous 20 years."

About 20 dealerships have signed up to sell the Wheego and that number' s expected to double in time for Christmas.

12/07/2010

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