Little Electric Cars Move Into Big Former Hummer Dealership

Amongst the smaller players in the electric car market, Wheego has quietly been churning out its electric vehicles for several years now. The company, originally known for low speed EVs, introduced the LiFe car a little under two years ago. Things have been pretty quiet since then, though of late they’ve added a few new dealerships carrying the LiFe, including one which used to sell what could be considered the antithesis of all green cars.

Of the more notable announcement, the Wheego LiFe is set to come to the Nimnicht Family of Dealerships In Jacksonville, Florida shortly. The showroom there used to showcase Hummers, considered the anti-Christ by the environmental movement, so it makes sense when Wheego’s national sales manager Ken Wambold describes the change as an “evolution to a green, eco-friendly product and a new technology” that “will serve the Jacksonville market well.”

image via Wheego

image via Wheego

To get an idea of the impact of this change in direction for this former GMC dealership, consider these paragraphs from a local newspaper covering the switch:

A huge building once home to gas-guzzling Hummers has a new electric lease on life.

Under a huge metal “H” at its entrance, tiny 2-seat Wheego electric coupes now sit as Nimnicht Buick GMC becomes one of about 25 dealers across the country to sell them.

Nimnicht general manager Jackie Lynch said to the Florida Times-Union they also have plans to use the large showroom for other electric vehicles as well, including motorcycles and bicycles.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Wheego recently added a dealership there called Green Wheels. Around since the 1940s, they sell a hodgepodge of different green technologies besides the LiFe which include solar panels and wind turbines. Also on site are EV charging stations powered by solar and wind.

The Wheego LiFe, with a starting price around $33,000, is an all-electric, two-seat subcompact car that comes with driver and passenger airbags, anti-lock brakes, power windows and locks and optional air conditioning. Its 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 throughout the United States. It travels approximately 100 miles on a single charge, and has a top speed of around 65 MPH.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

4 Comments

  • Reply February 21, 2013

    Matthew Caldwell

    I have had nothing but problems with my 2011 Wheego Life car. It has been
    to the dealer at least 5 or 6 times for repairs. The most common problem has
    been with acceleration. It has been at the Dealer for the past 3 months with
    this issue, and Wheego has been unable to fix the car.
    This does not even count the items that I had to fix like a loose windshield
    wiper, a rearview mirror which fell off of the windshield(super-glued it
    back on), and other minor issues. I also spent time working with a Wheego
    tech trying to fix issues via email. The amount of issues for this $36,000
    car is ridiculous. I finally asked for Wheego to buy the car back from me
    five weeks ago. They asked if I wanted a new car, but I said no. Why should
    I believe that a new Life would not have the same problems?? They have yet
    to buy the car back, and are not giving me any timeline on when I can expect
    a resolution to this car nightmare.
    Do yourself a favor and AVOID buying any Wheego cars. Ever.

    • Reply February 22, 2013

      Matthew Caldwell

      UPDATE: I just received a call from the CEO Mike McQuarry. He was very understanding about my issues. We have worked out a compromise to my issue. I am grateful for the personal attention that Mike gave me on this issue and look forward to a resolution. My prior post was written out of frustration. I am sure that other Wheego owners are having a good experience with their cars.

  • Reply February 21, 2013

    Christelle Alves

    I bought a 2012 Wheego a few months ago and have had no problems with it at all. The company has been great. I love my car, drive it everywhere and have saved a ton of money on gas. Suggest you try the 2012 car model- especially if they are offering you a free replacement. I can’t think of any other car company that would even offer you a free replacement.

    • Reply February 22, 2013

      Matthew Caldwell

      I have a friend at work that was offered a new Volvo when hers was having problems. If you had as many prolems with your Wheego as me then you would not want to take a chance on another one either.

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