White House requests bids to buy 100 EVs, snubs Wheego?
Just 10 days ago Leftlane reported on an interesting development that was coming to a head thanks to new found media coverage. A company by the name of Wheego, set to begin producing electric vehicles in the U.S., began calling on the White House to come through on an earlier promise by the President to purchase the 100 plug-in electric vehicles from the first company to begin producing them on American soil.
Enter the problem: Obama likely believed the Volt would be the first plug-in car to make it off an American assembly line, and understandably so. The only automaker that will beat GM to market goes by the name of Wheego, a start-up based in California that is set to begin producing its LiFe plug-in electric vehicles - available for purchase this month.
Wheego's CEO, Mike McQuary, plans fully well to hold Obama to his promise in March to purchase 100 vehicles for the federal government, stating, "He was probably assuming they would be Chevy Volts, but they will be Wheego LiFes. We've contacted the White House to make sure they know."
But now, according to The New York Times Wheels section, it appears as if the White House has chosen to put out a request for bidding from automakers, rather than directly addressing the promise and the questions that followed from Wheego to the administration. The request by the White House was confirmed by Sahar Wali, an associate administrator for communications at the General Services Administration, which is responsible for the federal government's 650,000 vehicle fleet.
Wali told the NYT that a request for bids has been placed for 100 electric vehicles, a big that will see its first stage close on October 21 - just two weeks from now. The G.S.A. also says that it believes this process fulfills the President's earlier promise.
From there, a 45-day evaluation period will take place, and then the vehicles will begin delivery based on the decision from the administration and its agency.
“If President Obama was serious, then the White House should be buying 100 Wheego LiFes next month," said McQuary concerning the bid process.