• Dec 28th 2010 at 4:01PM
  • 14
Wheego Whip LiFe – Click above for high-res image gallery

Wheego Electric Cars, a U.S.-based automaker, wheeled out its highway-capable electric car, the Whip LiFe, at the Los Angeles Auto Show back in November. With a price of $32,995 – or, only $25,495 after a $7,500 tax credit – the LiFe is a relatively cheap battery-powered ride and, now that it's EPA-certified, Wheego's electric is one step closer to landing in the driveways of reservation holders.

Yesterday, Wheego contacted reservation holders to pass along news that its diminutive electric has received the EPA's badge of approval. The automaker also released this brief statement detailing the LiFe's current status:
We're now awaiting final approval from National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to begin shipping cars to our reservation holders and dealers. We've passed the tests and submitted the paperwork - just waiting for the 'OK.'
Production of the Wheego LiFe has been underway for some time now and the automaker had hoped to deliver some of its electric hatches to dealers by month's end. However, with December nearly over, it now looks like deliveries will start in 2011.


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Photos copyright ©2010 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

[Source: Green Car Advisor]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      "the LiFe is a relatively cheap battery-powered ride" Relative to what? What could you possibly be comparing it to?
      I assume you are not comparing it to a sports car (Tesla), or 5-seater (Leaf).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why are the Chinese selling (Coda, Wheego) cars at premium prices (both at or above Leaf MRSP which isn't cheap) to an American public that does not have the same confidence in Chinese quality as they do in American (or Japanese) designs?

      Fail - regardless of the American partners and/or actual content and quality.

      Heads up BYD who is yet to announce a price. If you want success in America, you need to pull a Hyundai and provide a value equation in which people will accept the risk of the unknown. If you can offer the F3DM compact plug-in hybrid at a price similar to that which you try to sell it in China ($22,000) both Nissan and GM would really worry and you will sell thousands. Sell it at this price and you will be up nights.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What is it with you guys?

        Maybe it's just me, but I just don't understand why a certain section of readers expect electric cars to be cheaper than the ICE equivalent?

        Yeah, all right I agree, who would buy a glorified golf cart in preference to the Leaf. However, the Leaf is heavily subsided by the manufacturer to gain market acceptance.

        This endless criticism of price seems to derive from the philosophic values of a large section of the Green lobby. Confusing socialist morality and a hatred of capitalism with the practicality of marketing automobiles, produces these frustrated, unrealistic, bitter comments whenever the price of a new EV is announced.

        Like all new technology, the first adopters will be affluent purchasers who are willing to take a chance on new technology.

        The reason Toyota aimed at this market when launching the first hybrids was because this demographic has the right credentials to ensure a positive acceptance.

        Toyota needed the sort of open minded, affluent, successful buyers who were willing to pay a premium to participate in a new technology, and make a statement . Toyota knew that these owners were most likely to create acceptance for the new technology and influence the more timid or conservative consumer.

        Lets face it, if you are selling an expensive new technology of relatively dubious economic merit, who is a better role model, Warren Buffet, or some unsuccessful lefty misfit, driving a second hand crap-mobile covered with anti-capitalist bumper stickers?

        It's important to remember that automakers are not in the business of unprofitable idealism. Automobile manufacture is an incredibly difficult and unpredictable business, requiring enormous amounts of capital and very high levels of risk.

        The marketing of EV's will follow the same pattern as mobile phones, lap-top computers, colour TV, etc.. The young, fashionable, affluent and innovative will be first early adopters followed by the herd. The 'who killed the electric car' crowd will be still waiting for the Trabant EV, or some peculiar Indian or PRC import, then waste years whining about how Toyota, Nissan, Ford etc.. are exploiting the masses .

        If you can't afford a new EV, then buy one second hand. This will really help new sales as finance companies really need to assess the second hand market when setting the rates for new purchases. Also, new buyers will be reassured by a high resale value.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ Marcopolo - I couldn't have said it better.

      The technology is expensive, plain and symbol. They body/chassis of this vehicle is Chinese, if it were American you could expect another 10-15k on top of that price tag at which point its totally unrealistic.

      Its hard to remain profitable competing with automakers that take a loss on every car they sell.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is more than just a glorified golf cart. This is the electric version of the Smart Car rip-off that Shanguan Noble is attempting to sell here next year.

      The real news here is whether either or both versions will be actually sold here, based on the outcome of the lawsuit Daimler and Smart USA are planning to file to stop them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $33K for a red golf cart. OK.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I could get a nice used Pontiac G8 for that kinda money... and have enough left over for gas for a few years!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why would anyone who wants a BEV buy this over a Leaf?
        • 4 Years Ago
        To have something different?

        It is a tough sell for them. But the more, the merrier.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pricing it in the same range as the Leaf is the biggest mistake to start with. If you want to standout among other EVs, the only advantage you have is the price, every other spec comparatively sucks.
      A cheaper EV would open up a good market, don't know when these manufacturers would realize that. Get a eurospec Tata nano for 2-3k and put some batteries in it to sell as a highway capable EV for under 15k. Then there is a chance for these kind of cars to pick up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jjcentral

        Let me know where you can get a capable battery pack for that cheap and I will buy one today. I would assume just the battery pack alone in this car is +$15k, which leaves very little budget for your chassis, motor, motor controller, packaging, assembly, labor, controls, and that one little bit that apparently isn't very important, your profit.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Um.... We do EPA certification on electric cars?

      Something i'm not getting here? :P
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love small cars and I love eco-friendly cars, but this car is an embarrassment.

      If I was an early adopter of this type of car I'd adopt a Leaf.
      • 4 Years Ago
      FYI - just b/ you have EPA cert does not mean you have CARB cert (but if you have CARB cert, the EO, then yes - EPA cert is pretty much a given)
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