It's not often that I come across something really unique in the automotive world. Most of the time, the new technologies that you hear about are old technologies with fancier names and marketing strategies for them. When I came across the MV-1, it impressed me because it's the world's first factory-built vehicle manufactured “from the ground up” for wheelchair accesibility. Talk about forethought.
Previously, you would need to purchase a vehicle and bring it to an independent repair shop to have it converted for the purpose of accommodating a wheelchair or scooter. Body gets cut and modified, frame needs to be reinforced. This poses some problems as the vehicles weren't engineered for each unique conversion. As a technician, a converted vehicle isn't ideal as so many added variables come into play in terms of repair and maintenance costs. The MV-1 boasts “no conversion required— we took a ramp and built a vehicle around it”. It comes off the lot, ready to go.
The MV-1 is built with a heavy duty suspension and frame, in fact its powertrain is similar to the Ford F150. There's no compromise on comfort with an adjustable commercial driver seat, power door locks and windows, spacious seating for up to 6, and air conditioning.
The large internal cabin allows easy maneuverability so passengers in wheelchairs or scooters can easily enter and turn so they can sit next to the driver. The trunk storage area is big enough to hold six full-size suitcases and two golf travel bags.
The integrated deployable ramp has a shallow ramp angle, an anti-slip surface and is stored under the floor of the vehicle. It comes with child car seat anchors and tethers for the growing family, and the vehicle is available in five colours.
Additional options include a technology package that has a GPS, backup camera, DVD player, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity.
According to Jeff Wilson of MV-1 Canada, the MV-1 DX power ramp model is $48,900 with an approved GST/HST rebate on $15,322.61. MV-1 Canada is also working on getting the MV-1 registered for funding programs to help consumers who couldn't otherwise afford the vehicle. Most of these funds provide anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 upon succesful application.
- Bumper to bumper – 3 year / 60,000kms
- Powertrain – 5 year / 120,000kms
- Ramp components – 5 year / 120,000kms
- Corrosion protection – 5 year / 120,000kms