Great story is running on our newsletter this week profiling a somewhat unknown but certainly established EV manufacturer: Wheego Motors.
Subtitled, "The Electric Little Car That Could", the story shows that Wheego is a true international, global market example of using resources from around the world to assemble and distribute a product. With tentacles in the US (Atlanta), China and Canada, Wheego is a fascinating story, refereed to at the United Nations of car companies". Very cool.
Our viewers know all about Wheego Motors--we interviewed one of their dealers, based outside of Boston, MA, while we covered a wonderful event in Boston, Carbon Day. Go to our site and our archived shows to see our segment on Carbon Day and to see our piece with the dealer.
In the meantime here's the story.
Wheego, The Electric Little Car That Could.
When it comes to electric cars we often think right away of Tesla, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and now the coming of electric cars from such companies as BMW. But one company that may not get as much attention as it should is a small electric car company right here in the United States that goes by the name Wheego. This company has defied the odds when it comes to electric automobiles while many other have gone waist side Wheego keeps chugging along.
The Wheego has a very interesting manufacturing trail, Wheego CEO, Mike McQuary provide the cars origin's in the company's premiere newsletter back in October, 2009. This is how he explained it.
"Wheego is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia- but nothing too exciting happens there. It is mostly just administrative functions. Assembly of the Wheego happens in two places. Just outside of Shijiazhuang, China the Wheego chassis and body are manufactured to our specifications and then shipped to Ontario, California. Parts that we source from all over North America meet up with the "gliders" in Ontario and the "electrification" and final assembly takes place there. The AGM Batteries are from a Canadian company, the motors are made in Wisconsin, the Controller is made in Puerto Rico (by a NY based company), the Dashboard is made in Michigan, the Seat Belts are from Oklahoma, and well you get the picture.
I like to think of it as the United Nations of cars, we source the best parts from around the world and put them together with expert engineers and technicians in the U.S. to make the best electric car in the world."
A United Nations of cars...Wonder if it comes in the UN powder blue? But seriously when we look at effective manufacturing that needs to take place for a small start up to compete against the established giants this model makes a lot of sense. But what was even more interesting is that we learned from an article posted on PLUGINCARS that Wheego has actual partnered with a Chinese company to produce cars in China and to also sell them there. The details weren't disclosed but again it reinforces China's interest in the electric car and their efforts of moving away from carbon emission vehicles.
What also caught our eye with Wheego is the dealership opportunity. From our perspective they are almost doing a grass roots effort in building these dealerships where almost anyone can apply for the opportunity to be a dealer. Currently Wheego has one base model Wheego Life, but building on its small but stable base, Wheego is planning expanding its line-up to include an electric SUV at some point in the next year. Like the LiFe, this new model will use a body made in China along with US components. The expected prices is $44,000 (before any government incentives). The LiFe starts at $32,995.
So just like that little train that kept chugging along with a positive attitude Wheego keeps moving forward at it's own pace. And if you remember your childhood stories that little train did pretty well - See more at: http://renewablenow.biz/the-sustainble-auto.html#sthash.7HeKfaL1.dpuf