The Kenguru

Stacy Zoern, founder and CEO of Community Cars, helped fundraise and produce the Kenguru. The Kenguru is a wheelchair friendly single occupancy vehicle.

This is amazing, this is really amazing, we are coming up on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act passed by the First George Bush and yet people who are in wheelchairs cannot gain easy access to an automobile and drive around and do their shopping and their chores but now it’s going to change; because of our guest Stacy Zoern the president and founder of the Kenguru and she joins us in Austin, Texas.

David Feldman: Stacy you didn’t invent the Kenguru, you discovered the Kenguru on the web. What you did is you contacted the person who designed and I believe he is in Hungary?

Stacy: Right

David Feldman: And the Kenguru is a small electric car that opens from the back. It has easy access for someone in a wheelchair to roll up through the trunk the front seat is the wheelchair. You close the trunk door and drive in an electric vehicle and you require nobody’s assistance.

Stacy: That’s correct , yeah

David Feldman: It’s been 25 years since we passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Why are you selling this 25 years later, look why didn’t we start getting this in 1990?

Stacy: Well it’s a good question and it is a question a lot of people have but I think that in general , society tends to be kind of afraid of disability is something that scared the people that is unknown and it’s ignored often, you know it’s a niche portion of our society.

David Feldman: Right, let’s make sure our listeners find out about the, Kenguru , and go to to see the Kenguru in action. It’s a brilliant piece of machinery and when will it available for us to buy?

Stacy : Well production starts in the spring so we should have our first sales in hand vehicles on the road by next summer.

David Feldman: Describe for our listeners exactly how the kenguru works and why you should buy it , if you are in a wheelchair or you have a loved one who is in a wheelchair? Talk about the convenience of the Kenguru. Why this invention is so necessary and brilliant?

Stacy: While there is just so many needs for people that use power wheelchairs, it’s so much less expensive than the cost of buying a full sized van and modifying it. These are going to retail around $25,000.00. A lot of times vans that you drive are hundred thousand dollars. Just finally we have enough verbal option to drive than for people on their annual wheelchairs it’s great because you don’t have to injure your shoulders transferring into a car seat. It’s roll and go; it’s so quick , it’s easy you are not out in the rain and the snow and the cold the heat , you know you are protected, you get in quickly and you are off.

David Feldman: Right, and you are not depending on another person, I mean it’s always good we should all depend on each other , but this does give you independence;

Stacy: Absolutely in spontaneity which is just something a lot of people take for granted.

David Feldman:Spontaneity, yes you just decide you want to go for a drive , you just go , talk me through it step by step, you are in your living room , you are watching television , you say Oh my God , I want to go pick up a veggie burger at Burger King but the Burger King doesn’t sell veggie burgers in my neighborhood so I am going to drive up to Burger King and complain to Burger King that they don’t have the veggie burger , I am in a bad mood , I want to yell at Burger King and tell them that they need a veggie burger, talk me through it;

Stacy: Okay , so you grab your pod , you go out to your garage or your driveway wherever you have got your [indiscernible] [00:04:04] stored , you press a button , it was in second the back hatch was raised and the ramp has come down , so you roll right in, your chair locks in automatically again just you know a second or two, you press the button on your cell again , it closes and you press the button and start the engine and off you go.

David Feldman: I was just watching a documentary about Franklin Roosevelt who was a they call them polio’s back then he was a , he had polio and the greatest joys of his presidency driving a special car equipped for polio’s and it allowed him , I guess they had, on the steering wheel they had accelerators and brakes kind of like a bicycle. How do you accelerate.

Stacy: It’s exactly right, a small hand control , and it’s very cool as there is a lot of different driving technology out there for people to use with their hands , econo is different levels of strength and dexterity and we can implement a lot of different other , you know different steering uprights into our vehicle , including at some point in the near future a joy stick model which will allow people like myself that are very weak in their upper body to still drive;

David Feldman: You can then park the car right?

Stacy: correct

David Feldman: And how do you get out?

Stacy: Same thing you know , it’s within a minute you are out of the vehicle that is closed and you are where ever you are going , you know it’s a very small vehicle so it sits so easy and so fast and it’s adorable, it’s really a cute little car , you know if you are in a hurry. So yeah it’s real exited and the charge , you could charge it overnight and you can either plug it in your standard outlet or you can even have an upgrade on a wireless  so that is even easier, that you know once you charge it , you know you are getting at least 50 miles .


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