Mass produced ADA accessible vehicle coming soon

Posted by


Wheelchair

Wheelchair users will no longer be limited to conversion vehicles or mass transit. Image: Flickr - Liz Henry

Until now, anyone who uses a wheelchair or mobility device has been faced with a tough choice when it comes to driving. Getting an accessible vehicle means buying an after-market conversion car or buying a conversion kit. The Vehicle Production Group announced today that its MV-1, a vehicle built to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, will be available before 2011.

Previous options for accessible vehicles

Previously, accessible vehicles have been, at best, difficult to get and expensive. The only way to make a vehicle accessible is to undertake expensive and difficult modifications. Sometimes, these modifications void manufacturer’s warranties. Other times, battery packs and additional power sources must be packed into the vehicles.

The VPG motors MV-1

The VPG motors MV-1 vehicle is a vehicle manufactured in Indiana. The vehicle has been built from the ground up for wheelchair and mobility accessibility. The MV-1 is actually being built with four different available models — base and deluxe, in gas and compressed natural gas. The vehicle can seat six people and uses a Ford V-8 engine.

Niche vehicle market growing

Though the MV-1 from VPG motors uses a Ford engine, it is an independently designed and built vehicle. Much like Tesla Motors, the Nissan Leaf and other niche vehicles, the MV-1 is targeted to a very specific audience. These niche-market vehicles are receiving a lot of attention for their focus on low carbon emissions and specialty uses. In the past, small companies such as this would either have to be purchased or supported by large dealership and original equipment manufacturer networks. Now, though, these low-volume vehicle sales are growing, as more people look for value in their vehicles. The MV-1 is the first ADA accessible vehicle to hit the market, and if it does well, it will likely not be the last.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter


0 Comments

  1. Tom on

    Let's see…$40,000, 8000 Lbs, 4.6 8 cylinder engine, 14 mpg and you can't put a transfer seat in or an easy lock for your wheelchair in the driving position. Sounds like a taxi to me. Now I like the idea that someone is starting to think about designing a proper wheelchair accessible vehicle, but this isn't being made for you or me but for taxi companies. I talked to a lady at VPG and was told that it will be awhile if we are ever to see something viable to the common person in a wheelchair as they are just a start-up company. Maybe with a little email pressure VPG might realize that there is a big open space in the market for disabled people and their MV-1 is a square peg.

    • Mark Parkinson on

      Hi Tom,
      I just saw your post and wanted to respond to your comment in regards to the MV 1. Federal regulations prohibit the manufacture of a vehicle without a drivers seat and driver air bag installed to meet all federal safety standards. You are correct in the fact that the MV 1 will be a taxi since there are also federal regulations for all taxi companies to have an ADA compliant vehicle in their fleet so that people in wheelchairs have an alternate transportation source. (isn't it about time!!!) With that said, the vehicle was also designed with the infrastructure so that the drivers seat can be removed and with hand controls installed the MV 1 will be customized for each specific application for the driver to be in their wheelchair. I am a new car dealer that will be selling the MV1 in Orange County, CA beginning in January of 2011. VPG is far from a start up company with the drive train supplied by Ford Motor Company with production of the MV1 at the American General assembly plant this vehicle is world class in every way. Keep your eye on the MV 1 and when you get a chance to see the vehicle as it rolls out into the market you are going to be blown away at how fantastic this vehicle is for anyone in a wheelchair. All the best Tom

  2. Jesse Tyler on

    Having a vehical wheelchair accessible is ok, But if the driver can not set in a wheelchair wile driving their will not be any
    independance for thoes of us that now drive from the weelchair. I am invaoled with a Spinal Cord Injury peer Support
    group and 90% of this 43 person group drive from the wheelchair.

  3. Dave on

    I would really like to see this vehicle and test drive one before I layout a 250.00 deposit, can't tell much from a brochure