All-electric car manufacturers from Atlanta are using the Bay Area as a hub to sell their two-seater vehicles, which can reach 35 mph, plug in like a refrigerator and cost about $19,000.
Wheego signed a contract with family-owned dealer Ellis Brooks — located at 1395 Van Ness Ave. in The City — and will offer test drives from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
The company has been selling about 100 cars a month since October through about 20 dealers nationwide. It’s relying on the Bay Area to kick up sales because “it’s either the No. 1 or No. 2 market for new technology adopters,” Wheego President Jeff Boyd said.
The vehicle runs on sealed, lead-acid batteries, charges overnight and uses 90 percent fewer moving parts than a gas engine, Boyd said.
Wheego also is planning to release a higher-speed vehicle that can reach about 65 mph in the summer, but takes up about twice the amount of energy and would probably require an upgrade to outlets at home or a plug-in station.
There are about 25 plug-in stations in The City and about 10 in San Mateo County. However, Plug-In Bay Area, a coalition of electric and solar companies including PG&E, is banking on a $12 million state grant to add more stations and make upgrades.
There are about 130 charging sites in the Bay Area. About 25 of them are in San Francisco.
The City: Civic Center parking garage; Costco; General Hospital; Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf; Palace Hotel; Presidio Main Post; Toyota, Honda and Ford dealerships; SFO
SAN MATEO COUNTY
Colma: BART; Saturn dealership
Menlo Park: Sun Microsystems building
Redwood City: Electronic Arts
San Carlos: Liberate Technologies (by arrangement only)
South San Francisco: Costco