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News Link • Inventions

Here’s the Electric Tank-Wheelchair Hybrid You’ve Been Waiting For

• http://www.wired.com, By Damon Lavrinc
The unlikely offspring of a wheelchair and a tank, the Ziesel is the latest project from Mattro, an Austria-based mobility company that specializing in mounting off-road tracks to custom built vehicles for farming and construction. Now Mattro is putting its collective engineering skill to create an all-terrain, all-season, all-electric runabout that’s just at home on snow as it is sand, mud, and grass.

Two permanent magnet synchronous motors drive the tracks, putting out a peak of 21 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque to motivate the 460-pound Ziesel. A 6 kWh battery pack with integrated heating stores enough juice to keep the the beefy wheelchair running for 4 or 5 hours, although keeping it pegged at its top speed of 22 MPH will cut that time in half.

Everything is controlled through a joystick, so acceleration, braking, reversing, and steering are a single-handed affair, and three settings to tweak power output on the fly to suit the surroundings.

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