This week I had the privilege of test driving Wheego’s low-speed electric vehicle, the Whip, which costs about $12,500 after a $7,500 tax credit that expires this year.
The Whip isn’t meant for highway duty; it uses relatively short-range lead acid batteries and is designed for around-town driving totaling around 5,000 miles per year. But next year Wheego will roll out a similar car with a highway-ready lithium iron phosphate battery, capable of doing 78MPH with about an 80 mile range. The current iteration of the car does about half that, at a top speed of 25MPH.
The Wheego-branded black case under the hood is “basically a laptop computer,” says CEO Mike McQuary, complete with a silver heat-sink originally designed for server PCs. The close-up shots reveal the electric motor (photo #2), connected to the chassis with brass-colored engine mounts.
Also visible: the step-like battery configuration behind the seats. In the highway-speed version of the car, these batteries will be underneath the passenger seats. The vehicle’s shifter (photo #7) has three positions: forward, reverse, and neutral.