Transportation for folks with physical disabilities has just got a little sweeter.
The MV-1 “is the only purpose-built vehicle that was designed from the ground up for wheelchair accessibility.”
“It’s the first of its’ kind,” remarked James Boynton. “When someone with a wheelchair buys a car they have to modify it to fit a ramp. The MV-1 built a vehicle around the ramp. There aren’t any alterations that need to be made. It’s built stable and ready to go.”
Boynton is Sault Ste. Marie’s local MV-1 Sales Rep but don’t judge him too quickly. He’s no second hand car salesman.
“This is a dignified ride,” he said of the car’s unique features. “And being that I have Spina Bifida I get why that is a huge point.”
The MV-1 allows for the accessibility of most wheelchairs and scooters, while providing a comfortable and safe ride for all. A person who is wheelchair bound has the option of not only driving but also for the very first time, riding in the front of the vehicle on the passenger side.
For an ambulatory person the point may seem inconsequential but Boynton knows that this is a key selling feature for his clients.
“With other accessible cars people in wheelchairs are stuck in the back. They basically feel like luggage. They can sit up in the front, see where they’re going and it’s a more enjoyable ride. For the first time someone in a wheelchair can actually roll down their window and let their arm dangle out during a summer drive somewhere. It’s a feel good ride.”
In a press release issued by Healthgear Medical, the principal dealer in the Sault of the MV-1, the vehicle specs are broken down. “The MV-1 hosts a Ford 4.6L 2V EFI V8 engine; Ford electronic 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive; SLA Front Short Long Arm suspension that provides a tight turning radius and a rack and pinion steering gear. Built by AM General (Hummer), its’ similar body is an esthetically pleasing body-on-frame design for a rigid structure which supports the drive train. The integrated deployable ramp has a shallow ramp angle, anti-slip surface and is stored under the floor of the vehicle to maximize interior space.”
Costs to maintain the vehicle and the ease of finding a garage to maintain the vehicle is relative to any other vehicle.
“They’re all ball park. All the parts in the MV-1 are parts that are in regular vehicles. Also NAPA Auto Parts are our source dealer for parts. They know exactly what you need. We also have mechanics in the Sault from Lou’s Automotive that took a course and are certified to fix the MV-1,” explained Boynton.
So how much is this sweet little ride going to ring you up?
Well –if you’re looking for all the bells and whistles you’ll be dishing out about $75, 000. But if you’re looking for an entry level price Boynton can hook you up with something starting at about $46, 000.
“There are ways to offset the costs,” explained Boynton. “We take trade–ins and another part of my job is to work with banks to find the best arrangement for the client. There’s also organizations like the March of Dimes which could contribute as much as $15, 000 towards the vehicle and other organizations like Easter Seals and the Lions Club that will often help people with costs associated with a person’s disability. Also, a lot feature parts of the vehicle- like the straps to tie the wheelchair down, are tax write offs. The tax write offs can add up to about $3,000. So there are ways to make this accessible vehicle affordable as well.”
Curiosity piqued? Call James at 705.206.2263 or Healthgear Medical at 705.949.4327 for more information.