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First Electric Vehicle for Wheelchair Users Rolls Out

Wait-lists are already forming for the Kenguru in France and the U.K., and the vehicle is expected to hit the U.S. market later this year, Zoern says. The company is also in talks to distribute the vehicle in Germany, South Africa, Italy and Spain in the coming years.

The current model, which can travel at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour, can only accommodate manual wheelchair users – meaning Zoern still can’t drive the vehicle herself. A slightly larger model with joystick operation is in the works for power chair users, but the startup needs more funds to make it happen.

“There are a lot of people in my boat who are power chair users and who are still waiting in line for a joystick model to come out,” Zoern says. “So, we’re working on that as fast as we can.”

Earlier this summer, Zoern’s company, Community Cars, launched a RocketHub campaign to raise funds to build a power chair-accessible Kenguru. The campaign, which runs through Sept. 16, has raised less than 10 percent of its $100,000 goal, but Zoern is confident that the idea will catch on.

“I definitely feel a momentum building…but you still don’t know when you’re going to turn the corner,” she says.
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