The people behind the subway-friendly, all-electric Kenguru have experienced many of the ups and downs that other start-up EV companies are all too familiar with. In fact, when you first go to the Kenguru website, it doesn't ask if you want to buy a car, it says "Investors Wanted!"

But that drama hides a simple idea that is executed so well here. The Kenguru is basically a battery-powered, car-shaped wrapper for a wheelchair. That idea, to help people with mobility difficulties achieve a new level of independence, is elucidated nicely by Stacy Zoern, CEO of Community Cars (the company now behind the Kenguru; the vehicle was originally designed by Rehab, Ltd in Hungary) in a new video by our friends at Translogic. Watch it below.

Based in Pflugerville, TX, Community Cars assembles the Kenguru by hand, but it currently doesn't have enough money to make and sell them (see: call for investors). The latest hiccup isn't stopping Zoern, who says that a joystick-driven model is coming next. This will be a big deal for her, because, as you can see in the video when she shakes hands, she does not have the upper-body strength to drive the current version. She has driven a car before, a converted "normal" car that cost $80,000, but ended up getting into an accident, making the cheaper Kenguru – at $25,000 – both personal and practical. We think that the Kenguru is also a perfect candidate for wireless charging.

The RWD, fiberglass Kenguru has but one door – in the back to allow a wheelchair to roll on in – and has a top speed of 45 kilometers an hour (28 miles per hour) and a range of somewhere between 70 and 110 km (43-68 miles). It also qualifies, in some areas, for both green vehicle credits as well as vocational rehabilitation incentives. That just might make it the best kind of hybrid. See for yourself in the video below.

Show full PR text
Technical Specifications

Engine
2 gearless synchronous belt driven wheel drives on the back axle
Performance: 2Kw/150 Nm per Motor
Operating Voltage: 48V AC
Brushless internal Rotor
Running Gear
Independent double wishbone wheel suspensing in the front
Hauled single sided swingarms in the back
Shock absorber with adjustable preload
4 hydraulic disc brakes
Locking brake operating on the front wheels
Rimsize: 12*2, 2
Wheelsize: 100/ 90-12

Chassis
Fiberglass chassis on steel frame
Doors: 1
Seats: Room for one driver with wheelchair

Dimensions and Weight
Wheelbase: 1550 mm
Length: 2125 mm
Width: 1620 mm
Height: 1525 mm
Empty weight without driver: 550Kg
Empty weight without driver and batteries: 350Kg
Allowed total weight: 660 Kg

Driving Performance
Maximum Speed: 45 Km/h
Climbing Ability: 20%
Range: 70- 110 km

Operation
Steering via Motorcycle handlebar (via Joystick from 2012)
LED display on dashboard
Electrical door opening system controlled via remote control


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Daniel D
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think if like that young lady in the video, you have a chance to regain your independence and go where you want to go, when you want to - groceries be dammed. A great car that will only get better in future revisions.
      Julio B
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thankfully, I don't have any immediate family confined to a wheelchair but 28 mph is preety darn fast if you are pushing a wheelchair. I can fit $160 of groceries from Costco in my Aprilia scooter and that's with my wife riding with me so a little space can do wonders and for all those keyboard engineers that know when something doesn't "look" safe, its all relative, at 28 mph maybe it doesn't need to. I hope this project gets funded, being confined to a wheelchair is rough.
      Evan Hayden
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm all for extra mobility for the disabled, so I think this is a pretty neat concept. Hope it gets funded. The only thing I might suggest is to have an emergency access door on one of the sides, in the slight chance that it would up in an accident that would put it on its back, blocking the door. Then again, it looks light enough, that it could probably be pushed over if need be.
      Americo Savinon
      • 2 Years Ago
      They could raise 10 Million on Kickstarter easily
      Arek
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's a good idea IMO, there is almost no cars intended for people that are disabled straight from the factory. That thing IS REALLLY EXPENSIVE! There is no luggage space at all.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        I don't doubt this would appeal to some Europeans because of how tiny it is and how ugly it looks -- but the rest of your comment was absolute garbage.
      jbm0866
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the idea, but a 28mph top speed is near useless for most driving situations....unless of course these things are allowed in the bike lane or something.
        Mudotaku
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        Well, if you live in a big city and you use mainly the streets, it is a better option than going to the speed of a wheel chair, plus remember that in the U.S. we tend to drive faster than in other countries.
        Douglas Harry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jbm0866
        It says right in the video that it isn't designed for city streets, just neighborhood streets.
      Bandit5317
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great idea, but no cargo space, a pathetic top speed, and a ridiculous price tag. Also, I can't image this would be safe in an accident. You could convert a Tata Nano into one of these and it would be better in every way.
      TJH_
      • 2 Years Ago
      Zero luggage space? Can't even take it for groceries...
      Teko
      • 2 Years Ago
      A SmartCar may be safe...this thing, no thanks.
      PiCASSO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Excellent idea and implementation... good luck Stacy!
    • Load More Comments