Wheelchair vehicle gets $50 million loanMar 17 09:20
I am happy, nay THRILLED, to announce that the MV-1, a wheelchair accessible vehicle that looks like a morphed SUV/van with an extra wide ramp, has been given $50 million by the Department of Energy. This green vehicle is intended for both public use - taxis, government vehicles - and for private ownership.
One quick look at the statistics - 4 million wheelchair-users in the country, aging population, rising gas prices - it’s no wonder Uncle Sam took a leap in our court. This universally-usable vehicle, when run on compressed natural gas, gets 290 miles a tank. It has a Ford 4.6L V8 engine and seats 6, including two places for wheelchairs. The vehicle’s access ramp can withstand up to 1,200lbs, which I daresay is a bit stronger than an average van ramp. This vehicle is all about durability and affordability, and it looks way cooler than your average mini-van.
Unlike every other wheelchair van you’ve seen in your life, the MV-1 from the very start was deigned for both wheelchair AND able-bodied use, and now thanks to government backing, it will be made on an assembly-line, which means higher quality and lower prices. You can choose from either a gasoline or compressed natural gas engine, and the price of a MV-1 will be around $40,000. With new converted mini-vans costing at least $10k more, this is a significant drop in price.
The production of the MV-1 at the Mishawaka, Indiana plant has also given 80 recently-fired auto workers their jobs back. What’s not to love about this awesome vehicle!? I have one question though: Can I drive it from my power wheelchair? The site says it has generous headroom, but I have my doubts, and many achey forehead-banging memories.
If anyone has tried a MV-1, please comment. I’d love to hear first hand experiences.
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1. trina | Jun 02 05:03
We went to look at in in person- seems like great potential. Two concerns we had were - where are the MV-1 serviced and - the sliding door to let ou the ramp is not electronic- you need to open and close it manually- that would be a problem for us. goo-luck
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.