Mobility Products & Design Announces AMKAR -- Wheelchair Accessible Electric Car

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Mobility Products & Design, a division of Braun Motor Works, announces AMKAR, a low cost, zero emissions, battery powered and wheelchair accessible vehicle for the physically challenged.

Mobility Products and Design is on the cutting edge of mobility freedom

Mobility Products Design (MPD) announced today that AMKAR is available for sale to the public through a limited number of dealerships worldwide. AMKAR is a wheelchair accessible, battery powered, low speed vehicle. An automatic fold-out ramp sets AMKAR apart from other electric powered vehicles in its class.

"For over 25 years, MPD has been designing, refining and providing ergonomic driving controls for the physically challenged. Being able to set your own agenda and get behind the wheel to go where you want to go is essential to an active and independent life," said Tom Bonnell, General Manager, MPD. "As we strive to address the concerns of global warming, low speed, zero emission vehicles are gaining popularity in cities, master planned communities, universities and colleges, airports and resorts throughout the world. Unfortunately, most of these vehicles do not take into account the needs of a wheelchair user or user with limited physical driving abilities. We now have AMKAR to fill that void."

Mr. Bonnell added, "Transportation for electric wheelchair or scooter users is severely lacking at airports and resorts. Folks usually leave their electric wheelchair or scooter behind when they travel because the transportation used at these large facilities will not accommodate them. You'd never be able to lift an electric wheelchair and its owner into a golf cart. To get around, these folks either get pushed in a manual wheelchair or struggle to roll the chair themselves. Imagine going from a state of independence in a power chair to dependent in a manual one. Then think about all the able bodied folks being zipped around in golf carts while you're struggling in your manual chair to get to where you need to go. AMKAR serves as a better means of transportation at these venues than a golf cart. Unlike a golf cart, it doesn't discriminate. AMKAR gives everyone the right to be transported with dignity."

AMKAR's wheelchair accessible ramp is designed so that it can be opened or closed with the push of a button. This allows for safe and easy entry or exit of the vehicle for a wheelchair occupant. Inside AMKAR, the occupant can either drive or remain in their wheelchair while being driven. Either way, the wheelchair is easily locked into place with the simple push of a button and the occupant secured with AMKAR's safety belt system. A driver can use the standard gas and brake foot pedals or a physically challenged driver can operate AMKAR with an optional MPD Push/Pull 3400 Series Hand Control.

AMKAR's battery-electric powered chassis is a product of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), a DaimlerChrysler Division, located in Fargo, North Dakota. The first GEM battery-electric vehicle was manufactured in 1998. It accommodated two passengers and had a top speed of 20 mph. GEM was the first vehicle of its kind to be classified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) or low speed vehicle. To date, there are over 33,000 GEMs in service worldwide.

Like GEM, AMKAR is powered by a 72-volt-battery-system and is electronically limited to a top speed of 25 mph in order to meet Federal Low-Speed Vehicle requirements. AMKAR can be driven on public roads that are posted 35 mph or less in the United States. Note that laws regarding low-speed vehicle use vary from state to state. To meet NHTSA's safety requirements, AMKAR is equipped with a safety glass windshield, headlamps, taillights, turn signals, high mounted stoplights, mirrors, and three-point safety belts. There is no special equipment to charge the batteries. AMKAR's onboard charger plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet and the batteries can be charged or topped-off anytime. Typically under proper conditions, AMKAR will get up to 30 miles on fully charged batteries.

"Mobility Products and Design is on the cutting edge of mobility freedom," states Ken Nielsen, Consultant to the Accessible Mobility Industry. "AMKAR provides a fun, low cost, low speed, environmentally friendly vehicle for active people with mobility challenges who need an economical vehicle to travel short distances. From seniors living in master planned communities to college students on campuses and beyond, AMKAR serves that group of users that need more than a electric wheelchair or scooter but less than a ramp accessible van to get where they need to go. A new ramp accessible minivan can cost $40,000 and more. A nicely equipped AMKAR is around $16,000. If you travel only on roads that are posted at 35 mph or less, AMKAR is the solution for you."

M.I.T.S, Virginia, is a certified AMKAR dealership. Richard Bladwin, Regional Sales Manager, summed up the vehicle by saying, "MPD's all electric AMKAR has provided that something else for the mobility industry. Finally we have a product that fits the demands of an active senior lifestyle at a price point considerably less than your typical accessible van product. Add to this the news generating "Go Green" conservation ground swell and the head turning promotional aspect of such a unique vehicle and you have a winning product."

About Mobility Products Design (MPD)
MPD is a division of Braun Motor Works and has been proudly serving the driving needs of the physically challenged for over 25 years.

Contact Information
Tom Bonnell
General Manager
Mobility Products Design
144 South 100 West
Winamac, IN 46996
Tel: 800-488-7688

Richard Bladwin
Regional Sales Manager
M.I.T.S. Corporation of Virginia
2075 West Main Street
Waynesboro, VA 22980
Tel: 800-420-6470

Ken Nielsen
Consultant to the Accessible Mobility Industry
Tel: 804-741-8743


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