YDS, a Japan-based automobile design firm, developed a wheelchair accessible electric drive vehicle.
The vehicle, known as the “Wheel Chair Vehicle (WCV), is wheelchair accessible from the rear and driven by operating a handle directly connected to the front wheel for steering and an accelerator located to the right of the handle with two brake levers located right and left to the handle. It sounds like you may need a good set of paws to handle the action.
The WCV measures 1,860 (L) x 1,000 (W) x 990mm (H) and weighs 68kg (including a battery). A DC brushless motor with a rated output of 0.58kW is embedded in the front wheel. The battery is an iron phosphate lithium-ion battery whose voltage, capacity and charging time are 48V, 10Ah and about four hours, respectively. The vehicle can be equipped with up to two batteries, and, in that case, it can travel about 50km (at a speed of 30km/h on a flat paved road).
A lever is used to lower and raise the rear end of the vehicle to allow wheelchair access and egress. Froward and reverse are controlled by a button on the right side of the handlebars while headlights and indicators are on the left side.
YDS plans to release the WCV in the spring of 2011 at a price of ¥500,000-600,000 (approx US$ 5,987-7,185).