Hop Into Kenguru, The Electric Car Designed For Wheelchair Users
What car has four wheels, one door and no seats? The Kenguru of course! Able to cruise at up to 45 km/h (28 mph) with a range of up to 110 km (68 miles), the environmentally friendly and electrically powered Kenguru offers wheelchair users roll-in, drive-away convenience in a great-looking, affordable package.
The Kenguru was originally designed by Hungary-based company Kenguru Services, who began exporting vehicles to the United States about 8 years ago. Stacy Zoern, a Texas lawyer and wheelchair user, bought a Kenguru and was impressed enough to buy out Kenguru Services when the latter bowed out of the auto business. Zoern founded Community Cars to manufacture the Kenguru in Pflugerville, Texas, using the Hungarian firm's original design.
The Kenguru's biggest selling point is the independence it offers disabled owners who have upper body functionality. Drivers simply roll into their Kenguru through the remote-control-operated rear (and only) door via an automatically lowering ramp.
Once inside, the driver secures their wheelchair to the vehicle via an interlock device and is faced with a motorcycle-style handlebar and a full suite of instrumentation. Ensconced within the 2125 mm (83.6 in) long, 1620 mm (63.8 in) wide and 1525 m (60 in) tall fiberglass body, drivers enjoy a great view of the road along with a comforting sense of security.
Each Kenguru body shell weighs 350kg (772lb), rising to 550 kg (1200 lb) including the batteries required to power a pair of 2kW motors mounted on the rear axle. The Kenguru's low weight allows it to be classified as a scooter; drivers only require a scooter driver's license instead of a regular motor vehicle license.
The Kenguru is sticker priced at approximately $25,000 but governmental EV and/or vocational rehabilitation incentives can reduce the cost by an appreciable amount depending on which programs are available in the driver's area. Kenguru: definitely ready for prime time. (via Gizmag and Kenguru Cars UK)