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Wheego Whip review

13190 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  OC1964
Wheego Report: 3 Months
After several years of wanting, planning & shopping for an EV, I found what seemed like a good deal on a 4 year old unsold new Wheego. The important features to me included an HPEVS motor & controller and Air Conditioning.

After driving it for 3 months, I don’t have any long term info yet, but my initial impression is good. It has gotten me to work & shopping every time I’ve used it. I’m sure a 35 mph max speed and limited range under 20 miles is nonviable for most people, but it’s worked for me so far. I live within 5 miles of work, shopping & extended family. I've put about 1,000 miles on it so far and haven’t noticed any difference in my electric bill. I expect it’ll increase about $10 per month. My estimates are based on costing about 10 cents an hour to charge & one hour of charging for 3 miles of range. At some point I’d like to upgrade to LiFePo to replace the sealed Discover dry EV lead batteries it came with.
The chassis is a Shuanghuan Noble. It’s finish quality seems acceptable to me and it rides the way I’d expect an economy micro car to handle bumps & turns. The original 195 50R15 tires are rated up to 51 psi. At that pressure, pot holes are kinda harsh. The quality of fit and interior pieces strike me similar to a previously owned early 80s Plymouth (Mitsubishi) Colt. My Wheego came with some cosmetic issues including one headlight appearing to shed a couple layers of clear coat. The headliner is sagging too. It appears to be fabric coated cardboard which has lost it’s shape to bow downward in the center instead of holding the original shape. I’m waiting to see if these will be covered under warranty or not. The passenger power lock which failed was replaced under warranty.
Mechanically, two boots failed. At no cost, I received both an axle half shaft & tie rod end to replace the defective boots. All warranty work is through the dealer which creates the issue that I’m a great distance away and no dealers are within 500 miles of my home. The service people have been polite, timely & helpful via email & phone which has been appreciated. It does have Regen, though if I stop quickly due a signal light turning unexpectedly, it has gone into overvoltage shutdown a few times when leaving my house with a full charge. I’m not sure, but I believe the brake transducer is adjusted for aggressive regen so the brake pads & shoes may last just about forever.

I’ve read of some EV owners being stopped by strangers to inquire about their car. That’s not been my experience. The car came with graphics stating ‘all electric’ yet only one person has asked about it. Now, I’m not bashful about telling friends, co-workers & family more about EVs & my Wheego than they care to hear. But in parking lots so far, not a single inquiry.
In closing, if someone reading this is wondering if a Wheego Whip would be good or not, I’d say this one’s been good for me so far.
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My father uses a 2005 Miles ZX40, your car is a bit faster but also a bit less energy efficient (heavier).

Wheegos right out of Oklahoma where they were built were available nearly free due to local rebates.

Also your car can be reprogrammed (or you could import the 5 speed xmsn) and it will do 55ish on the top end.

So in other words its a great start, if you lived in IL you could get a Wheego LIFE for about $5000 after rebates, a very worth while deal for a 65mph capable car.

2 Years Wheego Whip review

After owning my Wheego Whip for almost two years, I doubt few people are interested. Even so, I’ll share my experience.
If I knew a 2 years ago what I know now, I don’t know if I would still buy one. I didn’t expect smooth or trouble free year of ownership. I like the little car and the entry level EV experience I’ve had. I understood the NEV limitations. I have enjoyed working on and tinkering with different parts as I have learned more about how EVs work. I don’t believe I’d recommend one to someone who wants to ‘just drive’.
The quality of various components is below most modern cars. The 2010 model I purchased new at the start of 2014 has had an electric door lock & CV boot fail. These were covered and replaced under warranty. Not covered have been a sagging headliner, power window switch, rear window latch and the lead battery pack. After about 3,000 miles I experienced a 10 mile range reduced from 18 miles when it was new. So I bought some CALB SE 100s.
The process of changing from lead to lithium has taught me a few lessons I share here. 1st, I learned my controller is a 1238-7501 which can run up to 130 volts. The OEM power loop amplifier and dash SOC gauge are programmed for lead and have been unplugged by me. I did this after the car went into limp mode after the amp counter noticed the energy taken out of the pack while driving, but didn’t count coulombs during charging after the Delta Q was reprogrammed with a lithium algorithm. The original Delta Q charger failed about 6 months ago.
Now, I ignore the factory dash gauge and rely on a JLD404 to count energy in & out for state of charge. Regarding range, I haven’t achieved the expected 50 miles I thought I’d get after losing about 500 lbs of batteries. I haven’t had a need to travel a great distance, and I’m not willing to stress the batteries to see how far I can travel before it won’t move any more. I have been surprised just how much difference gentle vs ‘normal’ acceleration affects how many amps are drawn.
Last winter, the car stalled in the middle of the road and would not reboot. The pre charge circuit produced an error. After towing it home and researching the problem, I found that connecting an incandescent bulb worked to the main contactor worked. I was glad the Wheego headquarters mailed me a resistor at no cost. It was an easy install and it now works. Since then, I’ve gotten a couple ‘main contactor welded’ error codes. When this happens, the car shuts off so I cycle the key switch off and on and it then it restarts.
I’m not an expert in suspension components nor design. I’ve heard other Wheego owners speak of poor quality of axles and control arms. Torque steer occurs under heavy acceleration.
As of today, the amount of money I’ve spent on this car + replacement batteries is less than the cheapest used Nissan Leaf, but barely. I believe the Leaf is superior in almost every way. Prices were different 2 years ago. So in conclusion, if a reader is considering an EV purchase and cannot spend over $5,000, a Wheego is an option. Though no longer producing this model for US sales, today, Wheego is still in business and provides both technical support and replacement parts.
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Interesting read. Thanks for sharing. To me it looks a lot like a scion IQ or a Chevy Spark. Maybe that is why people don't approach you. They don't realize what it is
Good read. Pulling the lead batteries from my newly acquired 2011 Whip and installing my 5 Model S packs, and all of the peripheral upgrades that go along with this process.

Where did you find the Delta Q algorithm for the lithium battery charging?
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