Often when we talk about electric cars here at EarthTechling we speak of vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or those from Tesla Motors. These electric vehicles are all well and good for most drivers, but not too accommodating for those confined to wheelchairs. One start up, Community Cars, is looking to change that via the Kenguru, a low speed EV “purpose built for people in wheelchairs.”
The Kenguru, which is currently seeking funding on crowd source financing platform RocketHub to help finish designing it, is unlike any other electric car we’ve covered for the most part. The CEO of Community Cars, Stacy Zoern, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy and has never walked. She did eventually learn how to drive, and came across the Kenguru on the Internet. She raised money to bring the company behind it from Hungary to the US, and is now looking to go the distance to bring it to market.
The electric car is capable of a maximum range of 60 miles and can hit a top speed of just 25 miles per hour. By those standards alone, this EV wouldn’t be that remarkable compared to other neighborhood style vehicles like it. It is the design though that makes it noteworthy, being a small, efficient closed body type wheelchair fitting idea, according to Community Cars.
Ease of access for those wheelchair bound is pretty damm simple. One opens the remote controlled rear door and then rolls in via the Kenguru’s ramp. Once inside and secured to a docking station, you drive without having to exit your wheelchair using a handlebar and clearly visible switches fixed on it.
The major focus of the crowd source funding for the Kenguru is to expand upon this design, adding a joystick for easier driving control and also expanding the vehicle to be able to fit power wheelchairs instead of just manual ones, which is the limitation the vehicle currently faces.
Designboom notes Community Cars hopes to produce a model for sale by mid 2013.