People in the News: Stacy Zoern

tacy Zoern may not become the next Henry Ford, but she’s determined to give people with disabilities the Kenguru, a cleaner and more affordable mode of transportation. Zoern is so impressed with the vehicle that she quit her law practice and became the company’s CEO.

Zoern, 32, born with spinal muscular atrophy, has spent her life looking for an easier way to get around. One day, she discovered the website for the Hungarian company Kenguru, an electric vehicle designed for wheelchair users, and she wanted one. Unfortunately, the car wasn’t in production due to Hungary’s slumping economy.

The Hungarian owner and Zoern became acquainted, and they hatched a plan to bring the company’s operations to Pflugerville, Texas. Demand for the Kenguru has been high, but the startup only produces four cars a month. Zoern hopes production will increase as more capital is raised.

The $25,000 Kenguru is currently only for in-town driving and for users with upper body strength. A joystick-operated model is under development and is slated for production in the next year or two. “That’s actually the model I need, so I’m pushing that as hard as I can,” Zoern says.

There are also plans to offer chin-operated driving controls, a passenger model, and eventually a highway model. For more info, go to www.kenguru.com.

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