The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) announced that volume production of the MV-1, the first factory-built and assembled wheelchair-accessible vehicle designed to meet the needs of the paratransit, taxi, and consumer market, will commence in October 2010. The new vehicle will be powered by the rear wheel drive Ford 4.6L 2V EFI V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission and will be available in either gasoline or dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) models.
The MV-1 is built from the ground up in the United States to meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) vehicle guidelines. Unlike other wheelchair-accessible vehicles, it is not a conversion or aftermarket retrofit. Safe, durable, and less expensive than other accessible vehicle choices, the MV-1 was designed to meet the demands of paratransit and taxicab fleets as well as individual consumers.
MV-1 production will commence at the AM General plant in Mishawaka IN with volume production beginning in October. AM General designs and produces the military Humvee and assembles the Hummer H2.
The MV-1 has an OEM-engineered and factory-assembled dedicated CNG fuel system option. The CNG vehicle features a range of 250 miles and best-in-class cargo compartment volume. As a result of a strategic partnership between VPG and Clean Energy Fuel Corp, Clean Energy intends to expand its CNG fueling infrastructure in key US markets to support fleets operating the CNG-powered MV-1.
The MV-1 features 56-inch high and 36-inch wide rear doors for easy wheelchair entrance via a wide ramp that carries a 1,200-pound capacity yet easily stores beneath the floor inside the vehicle. The MV-1 can accommodate five passengers plus the driver, including up to two forward facing wheelchair riders. With an interior floor to ceiling height of nearly 5 feet, the MV-1 can easily accommodate even the largest electric wheelchairs and provides easy entry and exit for all passengers.