Spacious and comfortable WAV benefits from new government grant scheme
Wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) specialist Brotherwood has showcased a new spacious and comfortable vehicle for wheelchair users – the ‘elektron’ conversion for the Vauxhall Vivaro e-Life – which is due to be available soon.
Brotherwood electron is an electric WAV conversion that maximises the potential space within the Vivaro e-Life to provide a flat, level lowered floor of 164cm in length. Much longer than previous electric WAVs, the elektron provides increased space, ride comfort, and visibility for the wheelchair user, according to the firm.
The rear wheelchair ramp is counterbalanced, making it light enough to lift with one finger. At 107cm long, the wheelchair ramp sits neatly under the rear tailgate for shelter from the elements when loading. The shallow angle and high-traction surface make loading and unloading wheelchair and passenger safe, fast and convenient.
Access is also made easy for able-bodied users, Brotherwood emphasises. Rear seat passengers get in and out easily and safely with the pop-out sidestep, which cleverly deploys automatically when the electric rear sliding doors are opened. A useful grab handle makes things easier for those with limited mobility.
Exclusive to Brotherwood, optional VB-FullAir air suspension system can replace the traditional rear spring setup with a full air suspension system that filters out unevenness in the road surface, increasing ride comfort.
The VB-FullAir system is also self-levelling, ensuring a consistent ride height and floor level at any load weight or number of passengers. The air suspension system can be lowered for even easier loading, creating a shallower ramp angle.
Based on the Vivaro e-Life, with a 50kWh battery and 100kW/136PS drivetrain, the Brotherwood elektron becomes one of the first electric WAVs to benefit from a new UK Government grant scheme. Replacing the outgoing Plug-In Vehicle Grant, new funding from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles aims to boost sales of plug-in taxis, vans, trucks, motorcycles, and WAVs, as announced in the Autumn Budget 2021.