The car industry and most governments agree; the future of the automobile industry is electric. EVs (electric vehicles) still have a few disadvantages, like long charge-time and limited range. However, electric and hybrid power units are gradually overcoming traditional combustion engines. The upsides are mostly environmental. Indirect emissions are significantly lower, while direct emissions are non-existing. Other important advantages are the relative simplicity, sound and price of electric drive.
Tripod Mobility is internationally renowned for its innovative car conversions. So obviously we don’t want to lean back and see what the ‘Electric Revolution’ will do for our industry. If possible, we want to lead by example. Of course we usually create interior height by lowering the floor of our cars, which is a bit of an issue with EVs. The batteries of electric vehicles are usually incorporated into the floor, which is a complication for modification. Therefore we first researched if any models allowed a workaround.
Renault Kangoo ZE
Luckily one of our most popular cars for wheelchair accessible conversions offered a solution. Renault has the Kangoo Z.E. This compact electric commercial vehicle, with a respectable 270 km (168 mile) range, proved suitable for a low floor conversion. To achieve this, we remove the battery pack, then lower the floor for optimal wheelchair accessibility. Next the batteries are reinstalled by a certified Renault dealer. We also slightly raise the rear of the car to ensure that, even with heavy loads, the Kangoo keeps sufficient ground clearance.
Currently three Tripod-modified electric Kangoos serve as wheelchair taxis in Switzerland. Because taxis are used intensively, by a large variety of users, this is the perfect test of this innovative car conversion.
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click here for more details on the Kangoo ZE like pictures, dimensions, standard features and options.