By Jenny Xie, February 12, 2014
For people in wheelchairs, finding convenient ways to get around is a huge obstacle. But Kenguru, a new electric car manufactured in the U.S., promises to give disabled people some much-needed independence.
The Kenguru measures 7 feet long and 5 feet high, making it smaller than a Smart Car. It has no seats -- drivers simply roll a wheelchair in from a pop-up back door. Designed for use on local roads, the vehicle goes up to 25 miles per hour, with an estimated range of 60 miles. The Kenguru will cost about $25,000, but green energy and mobility tax incentives can bring that price down for qualified buyers.
Kenguru has a long, courageous back story. The original concept, developed by Istvan Kissaroslaki
from Hungary many years ago, hadn’t been able to go to market without substantial financial backing. But in 2010, Stacy Zoern, an American lawyer disabled from a muscle disease, came across the Kenguru online and thought it was just what she needed. Zoern eventually convinced Kissaroslaki to move the company to Austin, Texas. The pair has been aggressively pursuing investors ever since.
Last month, the company announced Kenguru is finally going into production in the U.S. Interested buyers can reserve one online, and the first cars are expected to be ready in 12 to 18 months.
Check out this yellow Kenguru hitting the road.