First Electric Car Dealership Opens In St. Pete

After selling cars for almost 40 years and keeping tabs on the car sales industry, Richard Nimphie decided to electrify his business for 2011. He opened an electric car lot at 2401 4th St. N. in St. Petersburg.

"For the past few years, every industry journal I read spoke of electric vehicles," says Nimphie. "This gives me the opportunity to get into an innovative end of the automobile business that will make a difference."

Suncoast Electric Vehicles sells personal and electric vehicles, or EVs, that include the Wheego Whip for neighborhood drives, the Wheego LiFe for highway trips, two Vantage GreenVan models and two Vantage GreenTruck models. Nimphie says he believes he is the only dealer of all-electric cars and trucks in this part of the country.

"I've checked on the Internet, and to my knowledge we are the only dealer in Florida, or the Southeast that is dedicated to selling all electric automobiles and trucks."

Because the cars are assembled in California and shipped to St. Petersburg, customers must reserve their car and wait for delivery. The dealership also will provide free charging to its customers at its solar-powered charging station. EVs take approximately eight hours to charge, and the highway car will run up to 70 miles per hour for the equivalent of 100 miles to the gallon. Each car at Suncoast Electric is sold with an adapter that allows cars to be charged from a 110-volt electric outlet.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Richard Nimphie, Suncoast Electric Vehicles
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