Of the 300,000 mobility scooters in Britain, most are surprisingly capable at tackling slopes, curbs and small steps, but a new breed laughs in the face of even the most extreme urban obstacles.
World’s most powerful mobility scooter
The mighty Ziesel, an off-road mobility scooter that would give a Land Rover a run for its money.
Fitted with two electric motors and caterpillar-tracks that allow it to tackle almost any terrain, including deep snow, the Ziesel has a top speed of 22mph and a price tag of around £15,000.
World’s most luxurious mobility scooter
The QTvan miniature caravan offers mobility scooter users a far more gentle approach than the Ziesel. A full-size bed, television and kettle allows its owner to simply wait out any delay in comfort.
World’s most dangerous mobility scooter
American part-time inventor Lance Greathouse takes a far more radical approach and dedicates his spare time to building outlandish mobility scooters.
Living by his belief that “if you have to be in a chair, it should be a really cool chair”, he both designs one-of-a-kind machines for people with impaired mobility and customises existing scooters.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, his designs have included 4×4 off-roaders and burnished chrome models that a Bond villain could take pride in. Recently, Greathouse Labs have created a mobility device, dubbed Lord Humongous, fitted with a flamethrower capable of firing a 35ft jet of flame– the length of a London bus. Costing £645 to build, the scooter was stitched together from a golf cart, a helicopter seat, all-terrain tyres and old dental machines.
Greathouse had an interest in mechanics, electrical engineering and pyrotechnics from early childhood, and was involved in a number of exciting projects in his early career including creating machines for BBC2’s Robot Wars.
But it was watching his brother, Brent, lose his mobility to a rare form of Parkinson’s disease which led him to begin designing unusual solutions to assist disabled people in their day-to-day activities – with a hefty sprinkling of attitude and humour. He continues to work on these ‘special projects’ in his spare time, working as a dental laser technician in his 9-5.
Each year, Greathouse donates one or two of his creations to deserving folk who need mobility assistance, but for whom a lack of decent health insurance cover makes finding solutions unaffordable.
World’s cleverest mobility scooter
With almost a quarter of the Japanese population over 65, engineers at Hitachi have focussed on the needs of the elderly by developing an autonomous mobility scooter that drives itself.
The Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System (ROBITS) operates on pavements, just like a conventional mobility scooter, but uses a range of sensors and a GPS guidance system to avoid obstructions as it makes its way to its destination.
World’s fastest mobility scooter
British inventor Colin Furze swapped the electric motor in his mobility scooter for a small motorcycle engine. British law limits road-going mobility scooters to 8 mph, but his upgrade delivers a top speed of over 70 mph.
One simple mobility scooter insurance policy
Fully comprehensive mobility scooter insurance from the ETA includes everything you need to keep you moving should your mobility scooter be stolen, vandalised or damaged accidentally. At no extra cost, you also benefit from breakdown cover to take you home if your mobility scooter suffers a flat battery, mechanical fault or puncture.
For added reassurance, every policy includes £5m third party cover to protect you against claims for injury or damage caused while using your mobility scooter or powered chair. And should you be unfortunate enough to crash your scooter, our insurance policy includes personal accident cover up to £20,000. Find out more