[IMAGE]MV-1-Taxi-Option-full.jpg[/IMAGE]The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) announced volume production of the MV-1, the first factory-built and assembled wheelchair-accessible vehicle designed for 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 4-speed automatic transmission and available in either gasoline or dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) models.
The MV-1 is the first and only vehicle built from the ground up in the U.S. to meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) vehicle guidelines, according to a company statement. Unlike other wheelchair-accessible vehicles, it is not a conversion or aftermarket retrofit.
The MV-1 production will commence at the AM General plant in Mishawaka, Ind., with volume production beginning in October. AM General, which designs and produces the military Humvee and assembles the HUMMER H2, has a world-renowned reputation for building rugged vehicles, based on eight decades of successful innovation and growth. Durability and safety are critical to MV-1 customers and AM General is best positioned to help deliver on those needs, VPG officials said.
The MV-1 is the only vehicle in its class with an OEM-engineered and factory assembled dedicated CNG fuel system option. The clean-burning 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 Fuels Corp., Clean Energy intends to expand its CNG fueling infrastructure in key U.S. markets to support fleets operating the CNG-powered MV-1.
The new 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. It can accommodate five passengers plus the driver, including up to two forward-facing wheelchair riders. With an interior floor to ceiling height of nearly five feet, the MV-1 can easily accommodate even the largest electric wheelchairs and provides easy entry and exit for all passengers with or without mobility challenges.
VPG is taking preproduction reservations at this time. For more information, visit www.vpgautos.com.