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MV-1 van is designed specifically for wheelchair users

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September 22, 2011

The Vehicle Production Group's MV-1 van is designed with wheelchair-using passengers in mi...

The Vehicle Production Group's MV-1 van is designed with wheelchair-using passengers in mind

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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 Production Group's MV-1 van is designed with wheelchair-using passengers in mi...

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.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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9 Comments

Isn't this the brainchild of the former number two man at GM; retired head of manufacturing and advanced vehicle development, Mark Hogan? All I see is a venture capitalist and a couple of car guys running with Mr. Hogan's plan...

This was based on the taller "London Cab" where five can be seated (including the tip-down jump seat?. Well done Mark.

Muraculous
23rd September, 2011 @ 08:11 am PDT

Interesting concept; but, why develop a vehicle that does not seem to allow driving from a wheelchair? And, why note that non-disabled (not handicaped) drivers have access? Only a V-8? We already are strapped with high costs for daily living- from wheelchairs to DME! So, another gas-hog. I am pretty much forced to purchase a van with a ramp for mobility and DRIVING. Good idea, but any input from people with disabiities.

jim

JP
23rd September, 2011 @ 10:13 am PDT

Not bad but being a wheel chair user I would much rather be able to drive myself. I can't afford to hire a driver everywhere I would want to go.

Lee Bell
23rd September, 2011 @ 10:39 am PDT

lets get it to market SOON !

Al Kmiecik
23rd September, 2011 @ 02:54 pm PDT

FAIL! Stuck in our ways, are we? Same old/same old. I have been driving for years and years and use a wheelchair. From the article: "perhaps - in the future". Makes no sense to me at all. We have a business that adapts "stuck on stupid" vehicle designs that do not really work for disabled drivers. Nice to think of all people but leaving the driver out while designing is quite annoying.

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.

Chris Jordan
24th September, 2011 @ 03:10 pm PDT

Awesome, this is great.

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.

Facebook User
26th September, 2011 @ 12:06 pm PDT

The ugly duckling that a handicap cannot drive. Glad my money isn't in this one! My quadrapalegic cousin is driving a mini van we converted so her electric wheelchair could pull up to the steering wheel. With a low effort steering rack installed and the key attached to the end off a stick, she's fully independent again.

pj57
1st March, 2012 @ 02:50 pm PST

not everyone in a chair can drive and my husband happens to be a quad an cant drive, so this car would be perfect for us.

rpFL
19th May, 2012 @ 05:57 pm PDT

I think this is a great design and very good idea. I think it has a lot of potential. I think it is a good use for the Hummer factory.

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.

BigGoofyGuy
12th August, 2014 @ 06:22 am PDT
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