Trained professionals who have taken auto mechanic courses are capable of making a car wheelchair accessible, however this is certainly no easy (or cheap) task. There are currently very few cars on the market that are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, and even fewer hold both wheelchair accessibility and wheelchair driving capabilities. All this is about to change with the introduction of the Kenguru wheelchair accessible car.
Whether you plan to pursue training from a mechanic college, or you are simply interested in learning more about the innovative technology behind this fully wheelchair-friendly car, you won’t want to miss getting the scoop on the all-new Kenguru.
Where Has The Kenguru Been Hiding?
The Kenguru was originally founded in Hungary by creator Istvan Kissaroslaki, but has since moved to Austin, Texas. While working on the car in Hungary, Kissaroslaki could not secure any venture capital to see the project through and move onto production. Luckily, a lawyer and resident of Austin named Stacy Zoern was searching for an affordable way to replace her own very expensive custom wheelchair accessible vehicle, and came across the Kenguru online. Zoern and Kissaroslaki worked together to find investors and raise the money that was needed to continue the project—efforts which will be rewarded once the first Kenguru vehicles finally hit the roads of Austin.
Inside The Kenguru
This sleek hatchback is tiny, even more so than the Smart Car, which is one of the smallest cars currently on the market. The Kenguru is built solely for wheelchair users, so there are absolutely no seats included in the car. Inside the vehicle, there are handlebars which mimic those of a motorcycle, which allow wheelchair users to control the speed of the vehicle, as opposed to using foot pedals. To enter the vehicle, drivers can roll right through the rear hatch of the car, directly into the driving area, just like in this short video:
How It Works
The Kenguru is a fully electric vehicle, which can reach a full charge in approximately 8 hours. The vehicle’s batteries power two 2-kW motors, located on either side of its rear, and can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour. Of course, any automotive service advisor knows that this car is not designed for long distance travel, as it can only drive approximately 60 miles before it’s necessary to recharge the battery. The Kenguru is primarily designed for inner-city transportation, to give users more freedom and control over how they get from point A to point B. Although the final retail price of the car has yet to be established, it’s estimated cost is expected to be about $25,000. However, because of mobility and clean energy tax incentives, it may actually cost substantially less than that for consumers.
Do you think Kenguru has the power to change the car market for people with disabilities?