We decided to withdraw our submission before the finalists were announced. Karsan, Ford and Nissan are the manufacturers chosen as finalists by the TLC.
* Specifically designed as passenger vehicle for urban use
* No retrofitting or adaptation of standard passenger cars or vans
* Entire roof of the vehicle made of plexi-glass, allowing unobstructed passenger views of New York’s skyscrapers
* Flexible seating for up to five passengers, with comfortable, roomy seats
* Additional cabin space for strollers, luggage or shopping bags
* Purpose-build, accessible—fully 100% ADA-complaint
* Illuminated wheelchair ramp on both sides of vehicle
* Space in vehicle for wheelchair maneuverability
* Specialized handrails and restraint systems
* Wide doors open to 90 degrees
* Keyboard/screen communications for the hearing impaired
* Braille displays for the visually impaired
* Space designed specifically for the comfort of guide dogs and other service animals
* WiFi capabilities, Internet access
* Flexibility for the most sustainable engine mode available
* Ease of switching one engine to another:
o Operation with a gasoline engine
o OR a compressed natural gas (CNG) engine
o OR a gas-electric hybrid engine
o OR an all electric engine (within the product life cycle)
Nissan’s entry is a compact van that offers the most passenger space of the three, and is based on their NV200 model that was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2009. It is a heavy duty minivan, will probably have an all-electric version available in the near future. It is hard to find information online about specific disability provisions, but there is no mention at all of a wheelchair ramp or lift.
Ford Transit Connect
Ford’s design is based on the Transit Connect van, which is available in the U.S. and was named 2010 North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Aside from the advantages of a vehicle that is already in production and available domestically, Ford have released both compressed natural gas and all-electric versions of the vehicle complete with extra leg room, an information and entertainment system in the back for passengers, and a fare-tracking system.
* This vehicle is not completely wheelchair accessible; although there is certainly room inside for a wheelchair to fit the wheelchair user will not be able to embark and disembark independently. It appears to have no other special disability accommodations.