MARIETTA — A unique car company has found a place to showcase its latest eco-friendly creations in Cobb County, as Georgia Wheego has opened in Marietta.
The dealership, at 1794 Roswell Road, is the first in the state to carry the Atlanta-based company’s two-model line of fully electric vehicles.
“It’s completely electric, not a hybrid,” said Keith Cristal, owner of Georgia Wheego. “There are zero emissions.”
The company has designed a commuter car to run on a 115-volt lithium battery with a top speed of around 65 miles per hour. The Wheego LiFe can travel at least 100 miles on a single charge, and it will take five hours to charge if it is completely empty.
The tiny subcompact car — measuring just under 10 feet long and about 5 feet high — is equipped with most of the safety features and add-ons of a standard gas-powered vehicle, Cristal said.
Cristal said the Wheego is unique for its fueling method, compared to other electric or hybrid vehicles now on the market.
“Every single one requires a charging station,” Cristal said of his competitors. “The Wheego is unique because it plugs into a regular 110-volt outlet.”
Compared to more than $100 a week on fuel and maintenance from the standard gasoline-powered vehicle, the LiFe costs about $15 per week to charge, Cristal said.
Susan Nicholson, spokeswoman for Wheego Electric Cars, said the LiFe is meant to be for day-to-day driving but not as the primary family car.
“It’s great for someone to use as a commuter car,” Nicholson said. “It’s not going to be the only car a family has.”
Cristal said the LiFe is designed as a luxury vehicle, with a starting price of around $33,000. Given its status as an environmentally friendly car, the LiFe also qualifies for about $12,500 in state and federal tax credits.
and east Cobb
Cristal moved his sales showroom from downtown Marietta — where it was previously known as JDS Auto Clearance Outlet — to the location next to the 120 Loop to be closer to the east Cobb market. He said he thought Marietta would be a good location for the Wheego dealership.
“There is a great future market for an electric car,” he said. “It’s a very unique idea.”
The company is also looking to market its low-speed vehicle, the Wheego Whip, in the Cobb County area.
The Whip, which has a top speed of about 35 mph, is designed for police departments, airports, colleges or other short-distance uses.
“There are lots of fleet opportunities up in that area,” Nicholson said of Marietta.
The Marietta site is Georgia’s lone dealership for Wheego, although the company plans to have another sales site open next month in Norcross. And Cristal said Wheego is also developing a four-door electric pickup truck and an SUV model to add to its line.