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New car company builds special van for disabled drivers, the Vehicle Production Group MV-1

Consumer Reports News: September 23, 2011 03:38 PM

For people with physical disabilities, there has been limited choice when it came to buying a vehicle that could accommodate wheelchairs. Essentially, they had to shop for vehicle conversions—until now.

In the past, one would have to purchase and install an aftermarket system on an existing vehicle, which could be expensive, but now there’s a new van that’s factory-ready for wheelchair users. The van called MV-1 is offered by new Florida-based automaker called Vehicle Production Group (VPG). The MV-1 is built by AM General at an old Hummer factory in Mishawaka, Indiana. On sale now, the new van is rolling off the assembly line ready to increase driver mobility and independence.

The MV-1 meets or exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, according VPG.

Similar in size to a Ford Econoline van, the MV-1 features an integrated ramp capable of holding 1,200 lbs. with an anti-slip floor surface which is stored under the floor to not compromise interior space. The doorway is 36x56-inches to allow for easy entry. Inside, the van seats six people and wheelchair passengers can move inside the vehicle and sit in the front next to the driver. There is an optional power ramp for $2,100.

The MV-1 is powered by a Ford 4.6-liter V8 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission. An optional compressed natural gas (CNG) version is also available.

The base cost is $39,950. The CNG version adds $9,000, but there are some government incentives that may reduce the cost such as a disabled veteran’s grant, which could reduce the price by $11,000.

Check out the automaker’s website where you can also reserve a vehicle.

Liza Barth


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