in 2012, Green Wheels, an eco-friendly car dealership in Chicago, sold "a ton" of Think City electric vehicles. Well, a ton for an underdog electric vehicle like the City, anyway, according to Green Wheels owner Doug Snower. The actual number was more like 50. Now, with the slow fade of Think – and the fact that Snower can't get any BYD e6 or Coda Sedans to sell – Green Wheels is gearing up to sell the Wheego LiFe alongside used hybrids and other used cars. The company has also sold 15 Mitsubishi i EV to the State of Illinois.
Green Wheels sells cars out of a remodeled abandoned gas station on Western Ave. in Chicago that opened up two years ago. Green Wheels signed up with Wheego in January but will not be selling the slow, neighborhood version of the LiFe, the Whip. The highway-speed LiFe MSRP is $32,995, with air conditioning being a $1,995 option. Thanks to a 30-kWh battery pack, the car qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. Given the other, cheaper pure EV options on the market, Snower told AutoblogGreen that, "we're going to have a little sit down with Wheego."
To name just one direct competitor, take the all-electric Smart ED, which starts at $25,000 (before incentives). The Wheego is a converted Shuanghuan Noble, and it is thus a little big bigger than the all-electric Smart ED. It also has a much larger battery pack (the Smart ED has a 17.6-kWh pack) and is unofficially rated at 90 miles on a charge, compared to the 68 miles for the Smart ED.
"We're going to have a little sit down with Wheego."
To go along with the EVs, Green Wheels also offers solar-powered charging stations and will soon focus on promoting charging units from French company DBT. DBT has installed thousands of charging stations across Europe, but is just now starting to sell them in the US. Green Wheels' solution adds in BYD solar panels for a truly emissions-free drive. Green Wheels also sells charging units from Coulomb, Schneider and Blink, and has already installed "dozens" of solar-powered stations.
But the main focus is the cars, and Snower was noticeably disappointed that, after all the brands he's tried to sell, Wheego is the only one left. He said he could easily sell Coda Sedans, but the troubled California automaker has pulled back to the west coast and the local Coda representative simply can't get Snower any vehicles to sell, Snower claimed.