Those of us that love to drive often take for granted the fact that we’re fortunate enough to have a pair of dangling bone-poles we call legs. Sadly, others are less fortunate. For those confined to a wheelchair, the idea of operating a car can be a difficult, if not an altogether impossible, endeavor. Looking to rectify this unfortunate reality, and offer unprecedented levels of mobility to those that don’t, is the Kenguru.
The Kenguru is an electric car. It looks like your typical small four-wheeled vehicle but differs in one big way: The Kenguru is designed specifically for people who are in wheelchairs. As such, it does not feature a driver’s seat. Instead, the Kenguru features a single door placed in the rear of the vehicle that is operated via remote and allows for easy access to drivers and their wheelchairs.
In place of a steering wheel, drivers operate the Kenguru by using motorcycle-style handlebars, although there is a joystick-controlled version currently in the works.
Powering the diminutive people carrier are two 2-kW motors located on the rear axle. Total range for the Kenguru hovers between 43-68 miles with a top speed of 28 miles per hour. Needless to say, the Kenguru will do well to stick within city limits, which given its tiny frame shouldn’t be an issue.
Initially developed by Hungarian company Kenguru Services, the Kenguru has been around for roughly six years now. It was originally spotted by Stacy Zoern — a lawyer from Texas and wheelchair user — who founded Community Cars and now manufacturers Kengurus in Pflugerville, Texas.
Pricing for the Kenguru starts at $25,000, but like most electric vehicles is eligible to receive state and federal tax credits. Qualified buyers can also receive for both vocational rehabilitation and alternative powertrain incentives.
The Kenguru is scheduled to launch in 6 to 12 months here in the U.S., with a European distribution set to follow.