Hungarian Develops Electric Wheelchair Car
Most handicapped-accessible automobiles are designed for the general public and only later adapted for wheelchairs, resulting in awkward compromises, like the notoriously sluggish wheelchair lifts seen on public buses. But now there’s the Kenguru, a snazzy mini-hatchback designed to give total independence to wheelchair users on the go.
The Kenguru’s hatchback flips open so a wheelchair can roll right in and lock into place, which means the driver doesn’t have to climb into a driver’s seat. Because the steering column is a joystick, paraplegics and those with limited arm range can steer. The car is powered by a rechargeable battery and has a peak speed of 25 miles per hour.
The Kenguru was manufactured by Rehab Ltd., a Hungarian rehabilitative-services company. The designer, Zsolt Varga, is something of a solo-transport guru, having also created an electric scooter and an urban minicar. Crash tests for the Kenguru are slated for February in Germany, and the car will be available stateside in mid-2007 for approximately $14,500.
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