Motability Operations and Callum Designs introduce wheelchair-accessible EV

UK-based Motability Operations has teamed up with Callum Designs to launch an electric wheelchair-accessible vehicle concept called eVITA. The companies stress that special solutions are necessary for everyone to go electric.

Image: Callum Designs

The electric wheelchair-accessible vehicle (eWAV) has a 50 kWh battery pack and two charging ports at the “nearside rear and a lower front-mounted option for ease of access for all users.” Range is said to be about 200 miles or 322 kilometres.

The eVITA has a rear split tailgate, allowing wheelchair users to enter the vehicle comfortably. The EV measures 4,520mm in length, 1,908mm in width and 1,800mm in height. The wheelbase is 2,980 mm. According to Callum, “critical to the design of eVITA is the positioning of the battery,” as it needs to be positioned in a way to ensure that the floor between the tailgate and the front row is entirely flat. That way, a wheelchair can be parked behind the driver and front-row passenger.

Callum also emphasises the ride height was designed in a way that allows wheelchair users to be at a similar height to other vehicle occupants, which “helps them to feel more connected to other passengers.” The inside was also designed with wheelchair users in mind. A modular “utility bar” allows them to access all functions, such as infotainment, heating and air conditioning. It also has “easy-to-reach storage, such as cup holders”, charging ports for mobile devices and coat hangers as an option. There is also a folding seat in the rear for flexible seating options.

According to Motability Operations, a provider of mobility options and vehicles for disabled people and their families, more than its 750,000 customers and users of wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the UK could be left behind in the transition to EVs if the car industry does not develop vehicles adapted to their needs.

“The transition to electric simply won’t work unless it’s accessible for all,” says Andrew Miller, chief executive of Motability Operations. “We have the largest fleet in the UK and three-quarters of a million disabled customers who rely on their vehicles for their independence. Our customers aren’t the typical early EV adopters, they’re more representative of the wider population, and we know from first-hand insight what the challenges of having an EV will be for everyone.”

“OEMs, their designers and engineers must plan ahead and embrace inclusive principles to ensure that disabled people are not forgotten in the transition to EVs,” says Ian Callum, design director at Callum. “With eVITA, form and functionality have been developed in paralel, resulting in a well-considered, user friendly EV that is both practical and stylish.”,,

1 Comment

about „Motability Operations and Callum Designs introduce wheelchair-accessible EV“
Bradley K Gillespie
27.03.2024 um 01:06
Looks great- any plans to enter U.S. market?

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