The biggest problem that Wheego was having the last time we looked in on the company was getting the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to sign off on temporary exemption to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Regulations (FMVSSR) for its two-seat, all-electric Wheego Whip LiFe car. NHTSA granted the small electric vehicle company a waiver for an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system that is good until the end of the year. Wheego is in the process of developing an ESC for the little car. And with that, things are moving forward.
Wheego's Leslie Nolen told AutoblogGreen that around a dozen rolling chassis landed in Long Beach in the first shipment earlier this fall, and the plan was for Wheego to start building them into the LiFe EVs at its Ontario, CA location as soon as they made it through customs. This assembly process includes putting in the battery, battery management system and dash. The goal is to build 100 by the end of the year and Nolen said almost all of them are spoken for by dealers. Wheego has 30 dealers around the country.
There have been no major changes to the LiFe since the last time we took a look, but Nolen said the engineers have "tightened some stuff up" in the production process That includes things like having the appropriate wiring harness installed in China, where the chassis are built, rather than having the wrong one put in just so Wheego can take it out in the US.
Looking further down the road, Nolen said Wheego is working on R&D for a small, all-electric SUV. The plan is to show this off at the New York Auto Show in the spring of 2013 and have it available for sale by the end of that year.