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.
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.