MV-1 van is designed specifically for wheelchair users
The AM General auto assembly plant in Mishawaka, Indiana is where they used to build Hummer H2s. Now, its workers are making something a little less ... controversial. It's a van called the MV-1, MV standing for "Mobility Vehicle," and it's designed specifically for wheelchair-using passengers. Its designers claim that it is better suited to the handicapped than converted conventional vans, and the first factory-built model rolled off the assembly line yesterday.
A product of Miami's Vehicle Production Group, the MV-1 has a large 56 x 36-inch (142 x 91 cm) side door, and a 1,200 pound (544 kg)-capacity deployable ramp that stows under the floor when not in use. It can accommodate two wheelchair-using passengers, or one wheelchair and five additional traditionally-seated occupants, if the optional jump seat is used. Floor tracks are used to secure wheelchairs and scooters. The non-handicapped driver sits behind the wheel in a regular-style seat - perhaps future versions could allow wheelchair users to also drive, using something like RUVID's hand control device?
The vehicle is based around a body-on-frame configuration, and is powered by a Ford 4.6L 2V EFI V8 engine with an electronic four-speed automatic transmission. For the energy and/or environmentally-conscious, however, a factory-installed Compressed Natural Gas fuel system is also available. Vans with the CNG system should have a driving range of approximately 290 miles (466.7 km).
More specs and other information can be found on the MV-1 website, where vehicles can also be ordered. The base SE model is priced at US$39,950, for American customers only.
The following video illustrates how the van accommodates wheelchair-using passengers.
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This was based on the taller \"London Cab\" where five can be seated (including the tip-down jump seat?. Well done Mark.
Monster Garage TV Show took a mini van, added a complete and level lift, removed the drivers seat and lowered the floor under the steering wheel- so the driver could roll into a safe low floor; so that sort of design is around.
I can see where frustration would come from, not having the ability to operate the vehicle yourself if you suffer from disabilities that leave you chair bound. Seems there are always obstacles put in the way, rather then solutions.
I am more looking at a design like this for my Brother. With a sever case of CP he is not able to drive himself. We have an old van that is literally falling apart, so to take him anywhere I put him shotgun in my Ford Fushion (it is not easy to get him in and out, but we make do).
Something like this would be great where he could just pull right in, and be a part of the ride with me.
I can see the resemblence to the London taxi. Perhaps it could also be used as a taxi? It would be great for those in wheel chairs who want to get around without having to buy a special vehicle.