February 19, 2004

The Vexel Quovis Has Landed!

I just received a call from Abe Hopper of Vexel North America. The �Vexel Quovis� is the wheelchair-friendly car that I reviewed in Decmber (All I Want for Christmas is a Vexel Quovis )

It looks like I won't get my hands on one quite yet - California emissions testing and all - but I wanted to let you know so that you might be able to sneak a peek now that there are some in the US.

Ultimately Vexels will be sold in the US through the regular automobile retail sales networks.

In the meantime, I really think that there is an opportunity for individuals in the disability community to become familiar with the design, marketing and future development of the Vexel and similar vehicles. If you know some engineers interested in universal design or van conversion; disability activists with an interest in transportation issues, or folks in the market for a cute urban vehicle, please let them in on this news.

The vehicle was shown at the 2004 National Automobile Dealers Association in Las Vegas and was reportedly well received. It is licensed (NHTSA) as a Low Speed Vehicle (see quote below).

In speaking to Abe I learned that his team has refitted the vehicle with a gasoline engine with a projected 90 � 100 MPG rating. (Removing the diesel engine went a long way toward overcoming the ambient noise issues noted in European consumer reviews. Further soundproofing is underway.) Something I didn�t know before, the little thing even has air conditioning!

In the disabled community we operate a lot through word-of-mouth. Consider passing this along to whomever you know might enjoy hearing the scoop on a new bit of technology designed for us. By all means, get this news out into the Blogoshpere if you publish online!

Quote from press release:

"Quovis is a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) that complies with all the required NHTSA safety laws. The Quovis is intended for urban city streets and it's advanced technology ensures the speed is restricted to 25 mph. It can not be driven on freeways or expressways," explained Hopper.

Described as a vehicle, purpose-built, for wheelchair users, the Quovis enables handicapped persons to drive their wheelchairs directly into the compact motor vehicle. The ramp, located in the back of the vehicle, is part of the tailgate assembly. Once inside the vehicle, users simply turn the ignition key, which automatically closes the ramp and tailgate. Hopper explains that, "the customer will really be excited to find that they have air conditioning� it's a first in a vehicle of this size."

Conact Info:

Vexel North America
Abe Hopper,
300 Twin Ponds/PO Box 389
Centreville, MD 21617

Phone: (443) 262-9869
Fax: (410) 758-1924
Email: eastbay@goeaston.net
URL: http://www.vexel.es
Press release: http://tinyurl.com/3yecu

Posted by rollingrains at February 19, 2004 07:40 PM | TrackBack