The one vehicle unveiled at the Washington Auto Show today was the Wheego Whip LiFe, an upgraded version of the company's neighborhood electric car that we took for a quick spin last fall. The high-speed LiFe – a clever name based on the car's 28 kWh lithium (Li) iron (Fe) phosphate battery pack – will come to market later this year at a very affordable price of under $35,000, and that's before any tax incentives, according to Wheego's vice president of marketing, Les Seagraves. Wheego has a 30-dealer network in the U.S., and the Wheego LiFe will be available there sometime this summer. The car has a top speed of 65 mph and a range of 100 miles. You can see the Whip's full spec sheet here.
Wheego is currently undergoing crash testing the lithium model, a project that required fundraising in the realm of $2.5 million (the money was also used for other thing). Virtual testing has been underway since October and has led to a few changes in the battery pack shape andvehicle structure. Two Whip LiFes will be built to be sent into the crash chamber, and two others will be made for the company to show off (the first was the vehicle displayed today).Speaking of this particular body style, regular readers will remember that the Whip is a modified Shuanghuan Noble. Seagraves said that the Wheego team in Atlanta has made "over 100" changes to the body and chassis and therefore "it's ours now."
Wheego's low-speed vehicle (LSV) Whip went on sale in October, and Seagraves said that around 200 units have been sold thus far. That car costs around $19,000, and you can learn more about it here. Further down the line, Wheego is looking at a full-speed four-seater, possibly some time in 2011.
Photos copyright ©2010 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
Our travel and lodging for this media event were provided by the Auto Alliance.