Japanese carmaker Nissan has become the first manufacturer in South Africa to offer wheelchair friendly vehicles to taxi fleets. This move comes in order to meet safe and reliable means of transport for differently abled people.
Nissan has used the NV350 Impendulo, converting the vehicle to a spacious carrier. The vehicle has hydraulic lifts, rear facing seats, and aluminium flooring, which grip wheelchairs better. Converted Impendulos are already being used within the regional health departments in the Eastern Cape.
Taxis play an important role in South Africa and many find it difficult to use them because they are not well equipped for disabled people. One key reason is because wheelchairs do not fit inside. On the Impendulo, seats can be removed so that wheelchairs can fit inside the vehicle.
Also, the aluminium flooring keeps the wheelchair in place. Another key advantage with the Impendulo are the hydraulic lifts, which give access to the rear doors comfortably for people in wheelchairs.