Stacy Zoern, a lawyer based out of Texas, was having trouble finding an affordable accessible vehicle. Transportation for folks who use a wheelchair is a major financial issue. The cost of getting a wheelchair accessible van has increased to a range of 50,000 to 100,000 dollars. After searching transportation options, Stacy discovered a company in Hungary that produces a lower cost wheelchair accessible vehicle. It is a wheelchair accessible electric vehicle called the Kenguru Wheelchair-Accessible EV. She liked the concept of the car so much that she decided to go into business with the company to start manufacturing the cars in the United States and the vehicles are now being manufactured in Pfugerville, Texas by Community Cars.
The Kenguru EV is a small vehicle that offers an energy efficient wheelchair accessible vehicle for getting around a small urban area. It is an all-electric car. It has a ramp in the rear that allows the driver to drive up the ramp and fasten directly into their chair. It has a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and a range of 60 miles. It is so compact that it can fit in many bike lanes. The vehicle must be charged for 8 hours. The throttle and the brakes have been installed on the handlebars much like a four-wheeler. This allows drivers without the use of their legs the ability to access the vehicle. They are currently working on developing a joy stick controller that will allow someone with limited arm movement or strength to drive the Kenguru EV. The vehicle is licensed for street driving in the United States, but not for freeway driving.
The Kenguru is priced at $25,000. There also are some government programs such as federal or state electric vehicle incentives and vocational rehabilitation incentives that reduce the cost and even offer some of these vehicles free. They currently have 200 orders that will go to Europe and are looking for a dealership in Texas so they can serve the needs in the United States.
Here is a video taking a look at the Kenguru EV vehicle: