When we first introduced you to the Kenguru wheelchair-accessible EV in 2012, Community Cars founder and CEO Stacy Zoern was still seeking funding for her Texas-based startup. The company was struggling to meet demand due to a lack of capital to purchase inventory. "It's an interesting problem to have as a startup company," explained Zoern. "We can't meet the demand there is out there because we don't have enough money to buy the inventory to build the cars."
Also undetermined was the prospect of a joystick-driven version of the Kenguru, which would broaden the user base of the vehicle beyond the standard handlebar-controlled model that we had the opportunity to drive. Zoern herself was among those anticipating a joystick model, as she told us when we inquired as to the sales timeline for the Kenguru. "Hopefully soon because I need the joystick model to drive, so I'm still waiting," said Zoern.
Now, roughly a year and a half later, it appears the wait may soon be over for Zoern and her customers.
Kenguru announced earlier this week that they would begin to take pre-orders on their B1 and Z1 wheelchair-accessible EV models. The B1 features the motorcycle handlebar steering design that we test drove, whereas the Z1 is controlled by joystick. Both models are powered by a pair of 32 volt AC belt drive motors on the rear-wheels, with a top speed of 25 miles per hour and an estimated range of 45 miles. Charge time for the 2 kWh battery is eight hours.
The B1 has an MSRP of $25,000 and the Z1 will cost $38,500, but those who place a $100 refundable deposit by January 30 will receive 10% off the MSRP, according to the announcement from Kenguru. Official information regarding delivery has yet to be released, but Kenguru anticipates a wait of 12-18 months, according to their Facebook page.