A recent addition to the electric vehicle market hopes to bring green transportation to more individuals that use wheelchairs. Translogic's Bradley Hasemeyer took a test drive of the Kenguru and found it "really fun" to drive.
The vehicle, which was originally developed in Hungary, was brought to the U.S. last year by Austin, Texas-based lawyer Stacy Zoern. Two years after Zoern called the Hungarian company, the Kenguru is now manufactured in Pflugerville, Texas.
Noting that, "Manual wheelchair conversions can add $14,000 or more to the cost of a van, minivan or SUV purchase," Translogic explains that the Kenguru could be a more affordable vehicle option for wheelchair users. Zoern told Hasemeyer that with federal and state electric vehicle incentives and vocational rehabilitation incentives, the vehicle's $25,000 price tag can be reduced to $20,000 or even, in "some cases," nothing.
The Kenguru, according to Translogic, can travel at speeds up to 25 miles per hour with a 60 mile range. It takes eight hours to fully charge. Hasemeyer said it has "good pickup" and makes "such a great option for someone in a wheelchair."
Another electric vehicle, the Honda Fit, was recently given the EPA's highest ever fuel efficiency rating. The combined rating of the 2013 model is the equivalent of 119 miles per gallon, reported AP, with an estimated annual fuel cost of $500.
A recent development in lithium ion battery technology could mean that electric vehicles will see a price drop in coming years. A123 System's technology, known as Nanophosphate EXT, is intended to "prolong [battery] cycle life at extremely high temperatures and deliver high power even at low temperatures," explained Reuters.