Streams

Quietly Moseying Around Minnesota at 35 mph

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 05:58 PM

Jay Sitter, the sales manager for The Electric Vehicle Store in St. Louis Park, sells the $19,000 Wheego Whip, a 35 mph speed vehicle for neighborhood commuting. (MPR Photo/Dan Olson)

(Minneapolis, MN - Dan Olson, MPR News) -- Nissan and GM hope to electrify the auto market with the Leaf and Volt models this fall, both of which run on batteries that can be recharged by plugging into household 100-volt outlets.  But those cars will only be available on the West Coast to begin with, where consumers have been speedy adapters and consumers of green technologies.

But out in Minnesota, drivers aren't waiting.  The Wheego Whip, a fire-engine red, two-seat electric vehicle that runs about $19,000 is already on sale at the Electric Vehicle Store in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  It won't go more than 35 mph, but may satisfy environmentally-conscious drivers satisfied with a city-driving lifestyle.  Still, electric vehicles of any type will have to go farther to be green.  Sixty-four percent of Minnesota's energy comes from burning coal.  Hear what it's like to ride in a Wheego, and how Minnesotans size up the electric car future.

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