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New car offers freedom for disabled drivers

New car offers freedom for disabled drivers
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The Czech-produced Elbee is a vehicle designed specifically for wheelchair-bound people, allowing them to drive their car without leaving their wheelchair.

Users board and leave the vehicle without any help using a remote-controlled front door and ramp.

After boarding, the chair is safely anchored inside the car.

Measuring just over 1.30 in width, the car fits vertically into tight parking spaces, offering drivers direct access to the pavement.

“It took three years to finalise the vehicle including all the security elements. Last year, we were able to fine tune it to make sure it fulfills all the needs of wheelchair users,” says Elbee project manager Ladislav Brazdil.

Weighing in at 400 kilos, the Elbee can carry a small load of baggage and reach speeds of up to 80 km per hour.

For many wheelchair users, getting themselves and their chair in and out of their car without assistance
is a real challenge. This kind of vehicle could be life-changing.

“I am really delighted because it gives me a new kind of independence and freedom. I used to have to ask my wife or my son to take me places. Now I can get into my car by myself,” says Elbee user Frantisek Trunda.

The Elbee is the latest in a series of similar vehicles designed for wheelchair bound users.

But independence comes at a price as it will set you back around 15,000 euros.