The new van was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of people in wheelchairs as well as for the demanding duty cycles of fleet operators. It is the only factory built light-duty vehicle to date that meets or exceeds the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The vehicle features a deployable access ramp with a 1,200-pound weight capacity, a 36-inch entryway and an interior that accommodates up to six occupants with the optional jump seat, including either one or two wheelchair passengers and the driver.
“With this conditional commitment, the Department of Energy has demonstrated its confidence in our program and the impact that it will have in transforming a significant portion of U.S. light duty fleets to clean-burning, natural gas vehicles”, said David Schembri, CEO of VPG. “The MV-1 will improve the quality of life for millions of Americans with physical disabilities”, added the businessman.
The ATVM Loan Program, which is overseen by DOE’s Loan Programs Office, supports the development of innovative and advanced technologies that reduce the nation’s dependence on oil. The Department has provided over USD 8 billion in loans to advanced technology vehicle manufacturers, including Ford Motor Company, Fisker Automotive, Nissan North America and Tesla Motors.