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.