Voi has announced a new partnership with Klaxon Mobility from Austria, making an electric handbike that clicks onto wheelchairs. By integrating the device into their shared fleets, Voi hopes to expand accessible transportation options, starting in New York.
The ‘Klaxon Klick’ attaches to manual wheelchairs with a patented linking system and provides an added electric boost of power to up to 15 kph. First-time users will receive what Voi calls “a small hitch below the seat of their wheelchair” to attach the Klaxon device. Once installed, the device easily clicks into place for all subsequent rides.
The Swedish startup considers the technology particularly helpful in cities where electric wheelchair users commonly share lanes with cyclists, but the flow of traffic often moves too fast for manual wheelchairs. Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO at Voi, sees that “more cities are recognizing that streets built to support micro-mobility can also improve mobility access for wheelchair users and others who face mobility challenges.” He further considers the Klaxon Klick a “thoughtful addition to Voi’s fleet, since it can attach to any wheelchair”.
Voi plans to work with city transportation officials and accessibility organisations to streamline the rental process.
They have selected New York City for the first trial as they are currently applying for a license to run their e-scooter sharing services there. The Klaxon Klick will be available to rent on an on-demand and monthly basis in New York. Voi says, monthly subscribers will have their own Klaxon at their disposal, while on-demand users will be able to find and rent one through the Voi app.
Andrea Stella, the co-founder at Klaxon, hopes that their new partnership would “lead to the realization of our dream to make cities more accessible and to empower everyone to move in autonomy and comfort.”
Voi also announced they were prototyping an electric trike with a seat for people experiencing mobility restrictions or anyone who prefers a seated ride. The seated trike will also be available to New Yorkers first as part of Voi’s shared fleet, pending approvals and legislation.
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