The Kenguru Is The First Electric Car That Lets Drivers Operate It From Their Wheelchairs

The introduction of electronic cars marked a great leap forward in mobility, but we have yet to see one specifically designed for individuals with disabilities.

Fortunately, one man came up with Kenguru (pronounced “kangaroo”), a wheelchair-accessible electric vehicle designed by Istvan Kissaroslaki.

Gas-powered versions are prohibitively expensive, ranging from $40,000 to $100,000. For ambitious owners, the cost of driving a Kenguru is just $25,000.

A Kenguru on the road

The Kenguru can only hold its driver, but it is spacious and comfortable. To enter, simply press a button to raise the back panel and extend the ramp.

I believe everyone can agree that even though the automobile lacks a trunk for easy access, it is a worthwhile trade-off.

The small electric vehicle is easy to operate. Similar to a motorcycle, it is controlled by handlebars instead of a steering wheel. With these controls, drivers can accelerate and brake without having to use their feet.

Kenguru also features a wheelchair-locking system that prevents the car from starting until the wheelchair is locked in place.

As a result of its small size and light weight, the Kenguru is classified as a scooter and does not require a driver’s license to operate.

Istvan’s life-changing invention impressed many people. The Hungarian economy collapsed, and the company lost its financing.

Their business relied on fundraising until Stacy Zoern, an attorney from Texas, stepped in.

Stacy Zoern talking about the Kenguru

Due to a neuromuscular disorder, Stacy has spent her entire life in a wheelchair. After her $80,000 customised van was totaled just a few months after she bought it, she needed a replacement.

She came across Kenguru during her search, but was disappointed to learn that it was only available in Hungary. A meaningful partnership was formed, however, after a few phone calls.

Stacy and Istvan moved the company to Austin, Texas. By 2014, Kengurus were entirely manufactured in the United States, and their popularity continues to grow.

“It’s been amazing,” Stacy said. “We have taken it to trade shows all over the world-New York, Germany, Dubai-and people are ecstatic everywhere.” “We have people on the waiting list who are looking to purchase Kenguru.” “I get emails from all over the world from people who want to buy Kenguru from places I have never heard of.”

The cars have a top speed of 28 mph and a range of 43 to 68 miles, but they are powerful enough to enable wheelchair users to go shopping or to a doctor’s appointment on their own.

Discounts may be available to those who cannot afford the $25,000 Kenguru. Kengurus are eligible for federal and state subsidies since they are electric vehicles. If the car will be used for work, certain people may be eligible for the “vocational rehabilitation incentive.”

Currently, money is the company’s biggest problem. The company is currently unable to meet the increased demand for Kenguru devices due to a lack of funds. Stacy and Istvan continue to come up with new ideas for improving the car’s design despite their financial difficulties.

A Kenguru on the road

As a next step, the team plans to develop a joystick that can fit larger wheelchairs. This design will allow drivers with less upper-body strength to operate the car, which is why Stacy has not yet driven her own Kenguru.

She explained, “Right now, we have dealers in Germany, Spain, and the United States who want to sign up, but we don’t have enough funding to build more cars.” “As a start-up, it’s an unusual dilemma since we can’t produce the cars because there isn’t enough money to acquire the inventory.”

The Kenguru solves the problem of getting around for wheelchair users.

You can see the Kenguru in action in the video below.


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