Review 2009 WheeGo Whip NEV & HSV

15 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Review 2009 WheeGo Whip NEV & HSV отключены
Bentley Electric Cars

Review: 2009 WheeGo Whip NEV HSV

In photos, you can’t tell the size of the 2009 WheeGo Whip. They look tiny — perhaps the size of a Smart ForTwo. In person, all that changes.

Regardless of which powertrain is fitted under the Whip’s hood, this car is bigger than you expect.

WheeGo will have its Whip NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) on sale by the end of the summer, and expects the Whip HSV (Highway-Speed Vehicle) to be available Summer 2010.

The idea for building the Whip comes from Internet entrepreneur Mike McQuary. McQuary stands as a true believer when it comes to the electrification of personal transportation. He is directing the low-volume, low-speed Whip towards others like him. The company expects to sell 500-1,000 NEVs per year after the car goes on sale later this summer, and a similar number of HSVs when they go on sale in mid-2010.

The number seems reasonable when one considers that 77,000 NEVs have been purchased by Americans in the last 10 years, according to the company.

McQuary approached the business of building electric cars practically. His concept was to apply the best available electric powertrain technology to an existing vehicle that fit the company’s ideal for what could become an electrified city car. WheeGo’s vehicle would not be a gussied up golf cart or third-world utility vehicle.

Economics were also an issue, and to make the financials plausible, WheeGo considered dozens of options and settled on a car called the Noble. China’s Shuanghuan Automobile Company markets the gas-powered Noble for domestic consumption and export.

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Unlike the Smart ForTwo, the Noble is a front-engine, front-wheel-drive car. While the general shape of the Noble/Whip is familiar, it’s a foot longer than the ForTwo, and the hood/front end is significantly larger proportionally. The Noble/Whip is also four inches wider and a bit taller.

Overall, this is a substantial vehicle, as can be seen in the accompanying photo where a Whip is parked next to a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen.

For WheeGo, Shuanghuan produces roller chassis; essentially complete cars with no powertrain or fuel systems. The all-steel vehicles arrive stateside with DOT compliant seats, safety belts, glass, tires, and a fully-outfitted interior.

When the chassis arrive stateside, they are trucked to an Ontario, CA assembly facility. To create the Whip NEV, an electric powertrain is installed where the gas engine would normally go. The single electric motor produces 110 lb-ft of torque and a nominal 10 horsepower with 40 peak horsepower.

Sophisticated lead acid batteries (12 eight-volt advanced glass-mat sealed cells) are good for real world driving of about 40 miles.

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