Electric Car with a Special Purpose
The electric vehicle market has seen incredible growth in the past decade. There were 7.2 million EVs on the road in 2019, despite there being less than 20,000 in use just nine years earlier. New models emerge all the time–and the Kenguru is easily one of the most intriguing.
In an innovative and competitive market, the
Kenguru manages to stand apart from other EVs. It’s not the fastest electric
car, nor does it have the longest range, but it does have one notable claim to
fame. It’s the world’s first EV made specifically for wheelchair users.
What Sets the Kenguru Apart?
The Kenguru has just one door, which takes up
the entire back panel of the vehicle. At the click of a button, the rear panel
lifts, and a ramp automatically extends. When drivers turn on the ignition, the
ramp retracts, and the door closes.
Instead of a traditional steering wheel and
pedals, the Kenguru has handlebars, similar to a motorcycle. These controls
have buttons that let drivers accelerate and brake without using their feet.
There’s also a wheelchair-locking mechanism that won’t let the car turn on
until the driver’s wheelchair is securely in place.
Wheelchair-accessible vehicles have been around for a while, but can cost between $40,000 and $100,000, making them too expensive for many people. By contrast, the Kenguru costs just $25,000, and users can get it even cheaper. As a fully electric vehicle, it’s eligible for federal and state tax credits.
The Kenguru is also so small and lightweight
that it classifies as an electric scooter. That means you don’t need a driver’s
license to operate it, making it even more accessible.
How Does It Stack Up Against
Compared to other EVs, the Kenguru isn’t particularly fast or feature-rich. It has a top speed of 28 mph and a range of 43 to 68 miles. There’s also no room for any passengers and limited storage space.
While the Kenguru may not be comparable to an
ordinary car, it does precisely what it’s supposed to. It gives people who use
wheelchairs an affordable, accessible way to move around the city.
Transportation can be a considerable barrier for wheelchair users, but the
Kenguru provides an answer.
The Kenguru also fully charges from an empty battery in just eight hours. Since it can charge so quickly, its limited range is less of a concern. The Kenguru has other EVs beat in another category, too. A new electric car costs $55,600 on average, while the Kenguru is less than half of that price.
The EV Market Is Becoming More Diverse
A vehicle like the Kenguru is a positive sign
for the EV market. Electric car manufacturers are making products with a more
diverse audience in mind. There’s a suitable EV out there for virtually
As more of these more niche market EVs appear, electric cars as a whole will be more appealing. They’ll continue to grow, and emissions will fall as a result. The Kenguru may be a tiny car, but it represents a big step forward.
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