The wheelchair smart car has landedJun 25 09:35
Tiny wheelchair smart cars made exclusively for wheelchair-users, intended to be driven from the wheelchair and topping around 30 mph, are nothing new in other parts of the world. They’re perfect for city driving and run on electricity or get superior gas mileage. With gas prices cutting a hole through many people’s wallets, its about time adapted smart cars, aka LSV (low speed vehicles), became available in the US.
Wheelchair smart cars were first dreamt up by Vexel Quovis, a Spanish-based car manufacturer that’s been making wheelchairs cars since 2005. They’ve developed a rear-entry gas engine smart car that can be driven from the wheelchair and gets 90 mpg. It can seat up to two people and hand controls are available as an add-on option, including voice-activated secondary controls (shifter, turn signals, wipers, etc).
And then there’s the Kenguru, a similar rear-entry wheelchair car, but it is 100% electric and is driven using a steering set-up similar to a motorbike handlebar (a joystick control option will be available in the near future). The Kenguru is from Hungary and has been available since 2006. It can travel 30 miles on a single charge and since the Kenguru is considered an electrical scooter, not a car, only a scooter license is required to drive it in Hungary.
The Kenguru goes for about $12,500 in Hungary and is actually given to disabled Hungarian citizens for free (if they qualify). For a city that doesn’t have accessible public transportation, wheelchair cars are a great solution. You can learn more about the Kenguru here
The good news is that the Quovis is at the very least finally available stateside, and while the price is not listed on their site, a quick Google search says it costs around $10,000. Can't afford that? Financing is also available.
US dealerships that currently sell the Vexel Quovis are located in Missouri, California, Kansas and Kentucky. Note: Not every state allows LSV vehicles, so be sure to check your state’s specific laws before you get all excited and purchase one, because that would be lame.
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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.