Wheego joins the ranks of electric car startups Grist

12 мая 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Wheego joins the ranks of electric car startups Grist отключены
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars

Wheego joins the ranks of car startups

Wheego is an Atlanta-based that plans to enter the car market with its Whip. Todd Woody A traffic jam is on the electric highway.

A decade General Motors killed the car, big automakers and startups are up to put battery-powered vehicles on the road the next couple of years. One of the entrants is Wheego. an Atlanta that is about to launch the a tiny low-speed neighborhood vehicle that will be in 2010 to a full-speed, highway-ready

Wheego chief executive McQuary brought a Whip to San last week, and I took the car for a around the city. (More on in a bit.)

You see quite a few neighborhood across the Bay in Berkeley where I Their top speed is around 25 per hour and many look glorified golf carts or from an East Bloc factory, circa 1984. And at the of stereotyping, most seem to be by the proverbial little old leftist in tennis shoes who glides the hill for the weekly nuclear rally outside the Cal campus 1984).

The Wheego Whip, on the other looks like a real car brochure ). Somewhat similar in to the Smart fortwo or Think EV. it s a two-seater microcar sporting all the mod power windows, Bluetooth iPod/iPhone jack, air conditioning.

Coda Automotive s forthcoming sedan. the Whip s body and are Chinese made another that China is emerging as a in the nascent electric car industry the battery comes from and the motor from Wisconsin U-S-A!). The Whip will be in California in the Los Angeles exurb of

Other electric startups are a similar business plan, the old Detroit automotive model look as viable as a Hummer.

former president of Internet provider Mindspring, hopes the old ladies in tennis shoes trade their electric for a Whip, but he also has his eye on a different young and green city In other words, you, Grist reader.

Initially, the market s got to be people who are conscious, says McQuary. I there is a market for a low-speed Clearly, as a city car and I think s a lot of beach communities where it s practical.

Then there s McQuary calls a hidden : Teenage drivers.

You got your school driver, you don t want him on the you don t want him doing 55 miles per you don t want two knuckleheads in the back playing peek-a-boo with says McQuary. You want to be able to get to school, get to their get to practice and get home. And the insurance on a low speed vehicle are much than on a full speed

The cost of buying Biff or a Whip, though, is likely to whiplash in mom and dad. The low-speed it tops out at 25 mph or 35 mph, depending on the it s sold in will set you back $19,000 before state and tax rebates, thanks to its most component, the battery.

The lead-acid battery has a 40-mile and the Whip can only legally on streets with speed of 35 mph or lower. (Which means in a like San Francisco, connected to the world by the Bay and Golden Gate I wouldn t be able to drive the home to Berkeley.)

The interior of the a little plasticky Photo: Woody So, how does a Wheego go? drove up in a pre-production white near the ballpark on the San Francisco The fit-and-finish was a bit rough and plasticky, I also noticed in the pre-production of the Chinese-built Coda.

Over the two years, I ve driven or ridden in electric cars, from the rocket that is the Tesla to the Think City and Coda. those cars, the Whip quickly off the mark as power is instantaneously to the wheels. But I didn t get whiplash thrill I did when I the accelerator of the similarly sized City.

McQuary says that s the car s software limits acceleration to spinning the wheels and peeling from a standing stop Biff).

As we zipped around San Francisco the Whip held its easily maneuvering through and making tight U-turns. It of course, a cinch to park. s enough space behind the to hold several bags of

Wheego LiFE Electric Cars

The full-speed, 100-mile-range version of the will be powered by a lithium phosphate battery and is now undergoing crash testing. It will for about $29,000 $21,500 the federal tax credit when it on sale, now scheduled for June At that price, it will be with Nissan s Leaf, a and futuristic-looking sedan that five and is set to hit the market next

McQuary says owners of the Whip will be able to to the full-throttle version by paying the difference between the two cars and a depreciation fee on their trade-in.

He expects to sell 20 times as full-speed Whips. We d like to be a big player, says McQuary. We don t ambitions to overtake one of the majors. But I if we make a great car and offer unexpected great service we ll do

He offered an analogy from his at Mindspring and later at Earthlink, he served as president following a between the two ISPs. Our competitors we started out were ATT, Microsoft and all the Bell companies conglomerates with lots of But the thing they could offer was a personal level of And that s really where I we ll make our mark.

Of course, one of the dominant service providers of the Internet era, was eventually by bigger players. It s still days for the electric car industry, and it s s guess how things will out, but the fact that veterans like McQuary are into the business suggests we have a wild ride of us.

Video: An interview with s Mike McQuary.

Video: With Tami interviews and goes for a ride.

Todd is an environmental and technology journalist in California who writes for The New York Quartz, and other publications.

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Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars
Wheego LiFE Electric Cars


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