Well, it isn't going to be available in August as hoped, but the $32,995 (before incentives) Wheego Whip LiFe has been re-scheduled for delivery in September and Wheego Electric Cars is now accepting $100 refundable reservations here. Wheego CEO Mike McQuary was quick to point out in a statement that his car will beat both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt to market:
That last sentence requires some unpacking, since the LiFe is without question a modified Shuanghuan Noble, which is built in China. Wheego is quoting a 100-mile range and a 65 mile per hour to speed for the LiFe from a 28 kWh lithium (Li) iron (Fe) phosphate battery pack. It's unlikely to get those two numbers to play nice together. If you don't live in an area where the Leaf will be available right away, does this car appeal to you?We are on schedule to be the first company to offer an affordable all-electric car in the U.S. Other auto companies have made announcements of the upcoming availability of their electric cars, but for the most part, their cars are being released in only a few cities, and in limited quantities. Our Wheego Whip LiFe will ship to customers first-come, first-served across the U.S. beginning in September, and everyone who makes a reservation will be driving their car before the end of the year. The Whip LiFe has a lithium battery pack, is made of 75% U.S. content, and is assembled in Ontario, California. It is an example of American ingenuity at its finest.
*UPDATE: Wheego has updated the battery to a 30 kWh pack that uses 36 (3.2V) cells at 260AH. Wheego also wanted to respond to the China comment with:
When the chassis comes to us from China, it's just a sled that we reinforced for safety to pass crash-testing– then in our US assembly plant we add the transmission, motor, batteries, wiring, and controller (which are all US-made), as well as all the software that ties the components together.