Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vehicle Production Group's MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicle

Well I've been wanting to write about this car for some time as we have been following it since it was first shown on Leno's Garage.  First off you have to not think of this as a car as it's been built to truck specifications.  It's built ontop of a frame like a truck and not unibody.  It's been built to withstand commercial duty as a taxicab.

Well it's recent setback with Mayor Bloomberg of New York City's hyper critical comments about wheelchair users and this wheelchair vehicle not withstanding. It has soo much potential and a reasonable starting price, compared to upfit wheelchair vehicles.

As far as a consumer I have 1 problem with this vehicle and I don't understand why it is.  The EPA claims are 15MPG highway 10MPG city.  I don't understand this since it's using a modern ford powertrain which garners in the 20's in pickup trucks. I'm hoping in the near future to find out what has caused this real problem especially in todays world of ever increasing fuel prices.

Now for were this car crosses our path here at Goshen Adventures.  We recently decided we wanted to go see this car so we picked the Independence Expo in Orlando, FL as VPG's MV-1 was signed up to be there.  We travel 840 miles in our 2000 Ford E350 diesel towing our 30' travel trailer which is outfitted for a wheelchair user. Upon checking in we asked where the MV-1 was as that was going to be my first stop only to find out that they pulled out in order to have all the cars at the press conference where they gave away car #1.  This was a cool press conference but you can see not everyone was happy with it.

Now something you have to understand here is that our current vehicle the ex fleet 2000 Ford E350 Goshen Coach bus runs on diesel and is just bad as all get out and loaded with so much power it can excellerate up a mountain towing a 30 foot trailer, but it gets 8-10MPG loaded or unloaded it doesn't matter so the 15 mpg is not just 50% better as the price of gasoline is 50 cents cheaper than diesel (another sore spot with me as diesel is a less refined product then gasoline) so it's more like a 70% economy improvement for us. Not to mention the price point of $40,000.00 for the vehicle brand new is $18,000.00 less then our next favorite vehicle the Honda Element X-WAV.  We can buy a lifetimes worth of gas with that 18,000.00 don't you know.

The final thing I want to know is that this vehicle is built like a truck with truck drivetrain the V8 from the ford F150. What will it take to make this car tow my 30' trailer like the cars of similar specs did in the 70's. I've just really got to see one, and hopefully get some answers from one of their engineers sometime on this car.

Well I'm going to wrap this up here, but let me know in the comments what your favorite wheelchair vehicle is and why.

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