The vertical growth of electric vehicles is also helping to improve their accessibility. One more factor that can make transportation easier for everyone, of course, is the inclusion of wheelchair users.
Vehicles made with them in mind have already been around for a while, but they have quite high prices. This electric model called Kenguru promises to change the rules of the game.
Conceived and designed for the wheelchair
The creator of Kenguru, the Hungarian Istvan Kissaroslaki, he designed the car excluding any secondary factor that stood between himself and the ultimate goal: that of a minicar perfect for the wheelchair. Sure, it only seats one passenger, but it's still spacious and comfortable.
And it guarantees total autonomy, above all. Just press a button and the rear door opens like a garage door: a ramp comes out and that's it.
Ease of driving follows the same principles: instead of the steering wheel, a handlebar. For two reasons: it is more comfortable for maneuvering, and it allows the vehicle to be registered as a scooter, which means that you do not need a license to drive it.
From the stars to the stables (and back)
The story of Kenguru is troubled: it started thanks to a private loan, the production stopped due to the crisis of the Hungarian economy, and only managed to resume (very slowly) when a Texan lawyer, Stacy Zoern, did not come forward. with a generous offer. The professional, also in a wheelchair, found Kenguru on the web and offered to move all production to the USA. Since then (8 years have passed) the demand has only grown.
"It was an incredible experience," Zoern says. "We've shown it in New York, Germany and Dubai, and everywhere we go people are ecstatic. We have people on the waiting list who want to buy it. I get emails from all over the world."
Although Kenguru can only go at 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph) with a range of around 100 kilometers (60 miles), it is perfect for wheelchair users who want the freedom to move on their own. A freedom that we take for granted, but which is priceless.
The next step
As the popularity of Kenguru grows, the biggest challenge for the two owners is to fulfill the numerous customer orders (a happy problem) but above all to perfect the vehicle.
In fact, a more advanced model for a larger wheelchair with a joystick-based drive system is in the works to give even drivers with less upper body strength the ability to use Kenguru.
"We do not have enough funds to build more cars. And it is a singular problem that we are unable to meet demand, but we are sure that this will be resolved soon: we have offers of financing from the USA, Spain, Germany and other countries", they say. Istvan and Stacy.
The creation of Kenguru is a huge step forward for both electric vehicles and wheelchair users, and we can't wait to see what the company is capable of now that it can count on more funds.