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January 2010

Dear Wheego Enthusiast:
Happy New Year!
 
Wheego just unveiled a prototype of our Wheego Whip LiFe full-speed car at
the Washington
D.C. Auto Show. Based on Flux Power Lithium batteries, the
car is expected to go 100 miles on
a charge, at highway speeds (up to
65mph). The car garnered a great deal of attention and
very positive feedback.

 
Wheego VP-Marketing Les Seagraves presents the Wheego Whip LiFe
 
Glovebox Postcard
Many of our Wheego drivers report they are literally stopped on the street and
asked about
their Wheego. A couple of drivers asked for something they can
hand out to people with basic information
about the car. We have put together
a postcard covering quick facts about the Wheego that fits in the glovebox.
If you are interested in having some of these to hand out, please email
susan and she’ll rush some to you!
We appreciate your help getting the
word out.
 
Ask McQ
This month’s question for Wheego CEO Mike McQuary is:
 
Q: What are the differences between the Wheego Whip LSV and the
Wheego Whip LiFe full-speed vehicle?
 
McQ:  The Wheego Whip LiFe uses a Lithium Iron Phosphate power system
instead of the AGM sealed lead-acid batteries that are in the LSV.  That gives
us greater range (approximately 100 miles per charge) and combined with a
slightly larger motor, gives us a higher top end speed (up to 65 miles per hour)
in the Whip LiFe. The full-speed car has also been safety reinforced for faster
driving speeds - there is more steel in the roof, sides and undercarriage of
the car. It will also have airbags, four wheel disc brakes and an anti-lock
braking system. 

We listened to feedback from our Whip LSV drivers and are trying to
incorporate as many of their suggestions as we can -  the suspension
system, radio and heater have all been improved. We will also most likely
introduce a few new limited edition paint options when we first launch the
car. It’s not too late for additional suggestions for the car – if you have ideas
for what we should change or add, please email them to me
at mcq@wheego.net.

If you have a question you’d like McQ to answer, please email it to
press@wheego.net.
 
 
Plug-In America has published the “Top 12 Plug-In Electric
Vehicle Myths”:
 
Acronyms and definitions:
EV: Electric Vehicle meaning all-electric (no gas)
BEV: Battery Electric Vehicle or all-electric vehicle
PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Plug-in or Plug-in electric vehicle: Either a BEV or a PHEV
 
1. MYTH: EVs don't have enough range. You'll be stranded when you
run out of battery power.
FACT: 80% of Americans drive an average of 40 miles per day, according to
the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Most new BEVs have a range of at least
double that and can be charged at any ordinary electrical outlet (120V or
240V) or publicly accessible station with a faster charge. The latter, already in
use, will proliferate as the plug-in infrastructure is built out. At present, all it
takes is planning for EV owners, who can travel up to 120 miles on a single
charge, to use their cars on heavy travel days. Alternatively, a PHEV can up to
300 miles on a combination of electricity and gasoline power.
 
2. Myth: EVs are good for short city trips only
FACT: Consumers have owned and driven EVs since 1995 and regularly
use them for trips of up to 120 miles.
 
3. MYTH: EVs just replace the tailpipe with a smokestack
FACT: Even today, with 52% of U.S. electricity generated by coal-fired power
plants, plug-in cars reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and most other
pollutants compared with conventional gas or hybrid vehicles. Plug-ins can
run on renewable electricity from sources such as the sun or wind. PHEVs
will reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions, even if the source of
electricity is mostly coal, a 2007 study by the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI) and NRDC showed. Read the summary of some 30 studies,
analyses and presentations on this topic. Also, in 1970, the US imported
only 21% of its gasoline; today, it imports 79%; those are scary numbers.
 
4. MYTH: The charging infrastructure must be built before people
will adopt EVs
FACT: Most charging will be done at home, so a public charging infrastructure
isn’t a prerequisite. Still, a robust infrastructure will help, especially for
apartment dwellers and those regularly driving long distances. But at least
seven companies are competing to dominate the public-charging-station
market and a trade group representing the nation's electric utilities has
pledged to “aggressively” create the infrastructure to support “full-scale
commercialization and deployment” of plug-ins.
 
5. MYTH: The grid will crash if millions of plug-ins charge at once
FACT: Off-peak electricity production and transmission capacity could fuel the
daily commutes of 73% percent of all cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans on the
road today if they were PHEVs, according to a 2007 study by Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory. Also, utilities are upgrading some local
distribution systems to accommodate plug-ins, just as they do when residents
add more air conditioners and TVs. Plug-ins, which can be seen as energy
storage devices on wheels, can actually benefit the grid, making green
energies like solar and wind power even more viable.
 
6. MYTH: Battery chemicals are bad for the environment and can't be
recycled
FACT: Ninety-nine percent of batteries in conventional cars are recycled,
according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The metals in newer
batteries are more valuable and recycling programs are already being
developed for them. Utilities plan to use batteries for energy storage once
they are no longer viable in a vehicle.
 
7. MYTH: EVs take too long to charge
FACT: The most convenient place and time to charge is at home while you
sleep. Even using the slowest 120V outlet, the LSV car can be left to charge
overnight, producing about 40 miles of range; an FSV/BEV up to 120 miles
of range. Most new BEVs and PHEVs will charge from 240V outlets providing
double or triple the charge in the same amount of time. Fast charging and
rapid charging stations that reduce charging time even more are beginning
to appear.
 
8. MYTH: Plug-ins are too expensive for market penetration
FACT: New technologies are typically costly. Remember when cell phones
and DVDs were introduced? Also, the government stimulus package includes
a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs. Some states are
considering additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas). And, the
purchase and lifetime operating cost of an EV is on par with or less than its
gas-powered equivalent because EVs require almost no maintenance or
repair: no oil or filter changes, no tune ups, no smog checks.
 
9. MYTH: Batteries will cost $15,000 to replace after only a few years
FACT: The battery is the priciest part of a plug-in, but costs will drop as
production increases and the auto industry is expected to be
purchasing up to
$25 billion
in advanced batteries annually by 2015. Some car makers plan to
lease their batteries, so replacement won’t be an issue. The Chevy Volt
PHEV will have a 10-year battery warranty that would cover battery
replacement.
 
10. MYTH: There isn't enough lithium in the world to make all the
new batteries
FACT: Even in a worst-case scenario of zero battery recycling, aggressive
EV sales, no new mining methods or sites, existing lithium stores will be
sufficient for projected EV production for the next 75 years.
See an analysis
at PlugInAmerica.org. Also, lithium comes from many countries (24% is
found in the United States), so we won’t be dependent on any one global
region.
 
11. MYTH: Lithium batteries are dangerous and can explode
FACT: Among the many kinds of lithium batteries, lithium-cobalt batteries
found in consumer electronics can pose a fire risk in certain circumstances.
These risks can be mitigated by the use of advanced-battery management
systems and careful design (such as cooling systems) that prevents “thermal
runaway.” Most plug-in vehicle makers are working with other battery types
(such as lithium-iron-phosphate
and lithium-manganese) which have
inherent safety advantages and provide more years of service.
 
12. MYTH: Most of us will still be driving gas cars through 2050
FACT: Several irrefutable factors are driving the shift from gasoline to plug-in
vehicles: Ever-toughening federal fuel economy standards and state caps on
greenhouse gas emissions; projected price hikes for petroleum products as
demand increases and supply flattens or drops; broad agreement over the
need for America to reduce its reliance on petroleum for economic and
national security reasons; and climate change, which is occurring faster
than previously thought, according to the journal
Science and others.
 

As always, we thank you for your support. Please email your questions and
suggestions to info@wheego.net.
 
Best Regards,
 
The Wheego Team
 
 
 
 
 
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