Bring on the Whip. That's the feeling behind the announcement today that Wheego Electric Cars, a division of RTEV, is officially launching its U.S. dealer network. Wheego says their entry into the U.S. market is well-timed because, "There is a perfect storm of macro-events that are [sic] causing the American public to take personal inventory of their habits across a wide spectrum which includes personal transportation, and RTEV is entering the marketplace at this pivotal time." The first car will be the Wheego Whip (above), which is most certainly not a smart fortwo, and the plan is to find 50 dealers in America who want to sell them. Wheego president Jeff Boyd says that applications have come in from dealers who currently carry major brands (he listed Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Saturn, and Suzuki) as well as more niche, electric-vehicle-only dealers. Despite being a low-speed NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle), Wheego and RTEV say that feedback has so far been overwhelmingly positive. The Whip goes on sale in May, so we don't have long to find out if they're right.

[Source: Wheego]



PRESS RELEASE:

Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Taking Applications from Dealers Now ATLANTA, Feb. 17

ATLANTA, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- WHEEGO ELECTRIC CARS, a division of RTEV, Inc., one of the first companies to deliver a full line of recreational and street electric LSVs (Low Speed Vehicles), today announced the official launch of its U.S. car dealer network.

"In today's difficult automotive market, more and more car dealers are looking for additions and alternatives to the traditional brands to maintain and grow their dealership business," said Jeff Boyd, president of Wheego. "Electric vehicle adoption, fueled by volatile gas prices, increasing environmental awareness, and technological advancements puts the electric vehicle industry on the cusp of major growth as consumers are increasingly making more green-conscious buying decisions. Progressive car dealers are realizing this, and we're receiving applications from a variety of dealers who also have other car lines such as Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Saturn, and Suzuki, and want to expand their product line-up and catch the wave of the emerging electric vehicle movement. No one wants to get left behind. We will launch our first car, the Wheego Whip in May with a target of 50 U.S. car dealerships appointed by then," added Boyd. "These will be a combination of traditional car dealers as well as a new type of dealer who exclusively sells electric vehicles and combines several manufacturers such ZENN, ZAP, and MILES in one dealership."

The first dealer test drives of the Wheego Whip were conducted in Ontario, CA in December, and there was unanimous praise for the car. Dave Kauffman, who is the Electric Car Specialist for EnVironmental Motors of Glendale, CA commented, "The Wheego [Whip] has great lines for a small car, and the nicest fit and finish I have seen yet in a production Electric Car. My driving experience was -- I could not drive it enough. It is just like driving a conventional car except for the LSV speed limitation. The Wheego that I drove was 100 percent ready for the customer."

"We have the best affordable electric car in the world," said RTEV CEO Mike McQuary. "While I'm obviously biased, the feedback from the experts at our premier showing and test drive validated my belief. The assumption that electric cars are impractical for everyday transportation needs goes away once you see and test-drive the Wheego Whip. Instead the light bulb goes on, and people start to envision how this car can fit into their everyday life. Our Wheego cars will fill a middle market demand at the right time, and with a national dealer network to provide service and support. I think this is a great opportunity for progressive thinking car dealers to get in on the ground floor."

Dealers can get information and applications at www.wheego.net or by emailing Jeff Boyd at jboyd@rtev.net .

About RTEV

RTEV is an innovation-driven and environmentally-conscious manufacturer of Electric Vehicles (EVs). The company's two product lines are Ruff & Tuff (recreational) and Wheego (street). Under the leadership of Mike McQuary, former president of MindSpring and EarthLink ISPs, RTEV has become a leader in the integration of advanced technology components that distinguishes the brand from other EVs and is the first EV company to deliver affordable LSVs to the marketplace through a national dealer network.

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