Back on Earth Day, Wheego delivered its first electric-only, $32,995 LiFe to Asma and Kevin Henry of Atlanta, GA. But, in order to continue manufacturing the highway-capable electric microcar, the Atlanta-based startup needs cash now, says Mike McQuary, chief executive officer of Wheego. McQuary told Automotive News (sub. req.) that:
Wheego has enlisted the help of The Westbury Group, a venture capital firm located in Westport, CT, to raise $15 million in funds to buy parts needed to manufacture the LiFe. McQuary says that Wheego's previous capital-raising efforts were stymied because the LiFe had not yet received final approval from National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). That approval came in March.My constraint is primarily capital. We'll be living hand-to-mouth as we try to get the first cars built. The next 200 will creep out as we raise money.
Wheego's facility in Ontario, CA was supposed to crank out 200 LiFes per month in January, February and March of 2011 before ramping up to a rate that allows for the production of 60,000 vehicles a year. But, as McQuary told AN, "the question right now is how quickly we can raise money to buy parts."
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]