Wheelchair – Accessible Electric Car Manufacturer to Locate in Pflugerville
PFLUGERVILLE, TEXAS, August 2, 2011—The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation (PCDC) announced that Community Cars, Inc., a manufacturer of electric vehicles designed for people in wheelchairs, will locate its headquarters in Pflugerville this September. The new company is expected to add more than 30 jobs to Pflugerville within five years.
Austin lawyer Stacy Zoern, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is in a wheelchair, founded Community Cars after looking globally for a car that would allow her to drive a car indepedently from her wheelchair. She found Hungary-based Kenguru Services, which was in the process of designing wheelchair accessible cars, but the company ran out of capital before it was able to begin production.
Community Cars merged with Kenguru in July and will begin assembling the small, yellow cars in Pflugerville, with the first line of cars to be manufactured and available to dealerships in September. The cars will be sold at dealerships worldwide and will feature an “Assembled in Pflugerville, Texas, USA” sticker, which is currently in design.
“Businesses in the renewable energy industry are an ideal match for Pflugerville and vice versa,” said Floyd Akers, PCDC interim executive director. “We have land and will soon have several other clean energy businesses to create synergies, and we have the talented labor pool these businesses need.”
With a limited range and top speed of 25 miles per hour, Community Cars’ Kenguru vehicles are designed for neighborhood mobility. Drivers steer by using either a handle bar or joy stick, and brake and accelerate by hand.
“More than 25 million people worldwide have mobility impairments, and their lives can be expanded and improved with a safe, easy-to-drive, inexpensive option that allows them to travel independently in their neighborhoods; whether to work, school, the grocery store, or friends’ homes,” Zoern said.
The suggested retail price for a Kenguru is $20,000.
The PCDC Board of Directors and the Pflugerville City Council approved an agreement in July to provide no more than $100,000 to Community Cars for locating in Pflugerville, including $50,000 for rent and capital equipment, and another $50,000 when the first shipment of parts is delivered to Pflugerville from China. As part of the agreement, the company must have at least eight full-time employees on staff by Sept. 30, 2011, and 30 full-time employees by Sept. 30, 2016. All employees must be paid at least $15 per hour.
Community Cars’ lease begins Aug. 15 and the company will be located at 16708 Picadilly Court, Suites 106-108 in Pflugerville. Visit www.kenguru.com for more information.
About the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation
The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation supports the city’s goals of smart growth while diversifying the city’s tax base and providing support to both commerce and the community. PCDC promotes Pflugerville as a desirable place for new businesses to operate, and supports existing businesses by helping to address their needs. PCDC can provide funding for use as an incentive to businesses to begin doing business in Pflugerville. PCDC funds, which are 4B money generated from a half-cent of the city’s sales tax revenue, can also be used to construct needed infrastructure such as roads, utilities and drainage projects.
Located 16 miles northeast of Austin and just south of Round Rock, Pflugerville is well-situated in a growing region. Recent transportation improvements, such as state highways 45 and 130, offer further linkage and direct access to other nearby cities and the region’s main airport. For more information, visit www.pfdevelopment.com.