New concept challenges EV accessibility

1 Motability Operations - CALLUM - eVITA concept - Side

Callum has teamed up with Motability Operations to address a vehicle segment that is generally overlooked by today’s EV makers. The eVITA concept aims to combine functionality with style, and was designed using feedback from focus groups

Passenger cars today are designed for the many, not the few. A natural result is that those with mobility challenges are generally underserved, with solutions that are either too generic, not fit for purpose or perfectly functional but lacking any real desirability factor. The team at Callum has taken this head on with its latest concept, the eVITA, which aims to be more inclusive and is designed to reflect the needs of wheelchair users in particular. 

This article opens with mention of “the few” but that does not accurately describe the issue at hand. Motability Operations, the UK-based organisation that represents disabled motorists, has identified some 34,000 users of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the country that could be left behind in the transition to EVs. This cannot happen. 

Now, that is not to suggest that an innovative concept vehicle is the answer, but it is certainly a strong start. It is also less pie-in-the-sky than the fabled robotaxi trend, which although showing promise continues to face the same challenges it did a decade ago (namely: crashing into things or refusing to move, like a stubborn dog). 

Callum founder, Ian Callum, told CDN that the project resulted from conversations with Motability back in 2022 after recognising that many wheelchair users would not be supported by upcoming EV designs, or forced to shell out on a much larger, expensive vehicle than they would like. This is because traditional battery platforms raise the height of the floor, eating into interior space and restricting access. Leaning on his background as an industrial designer, Callum says this was one of those ‘problem solving’ challenges that he always enjoys, and brought the wider team together to find a solution.

Motability Operations - CALLUM - eVITA concept - Rear three quarters

Clean surfacing and clever bodywork creates a striking profile

“Callum is much more than a styling outfit – we can approach such issues seriously and resolve them, working hand-in-hand with our own engineering team to ensure the solution can be brought to market,” he says. “Our whole intention with Callum was to have the freedom to take on the projects that really inspire, resonate with and excite us. This is certainly such a project.”

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