THE SOLAR POWERED WHEELCHAIR MARKET IS GOING TO GROW STEADILY.
Manual wheelchairs do a great job of improving the muscular strength of an individual’s upper limbs. But they are rather insufficient, and the constant necessary use of one’s upper body can lead to fatigue and injury. This is why motorised, electrically powered wheelchairs are popular. Battery powered wheelchairs are generally preferred to manual ones, but currently, the high cost of running them is holding their widespread implementation back, as well as their large size.
Most are powered solely by a battery, but studies have shown that the distance a wheelchair can travel can be increased by nearly 30%, when supplemented with an auxiliary solar power supply. As well as this, they tend to have a modular design, which circumvents some of the size issues facing standard battery-operated wheelchairs.
To overcome the barriers, we can expect to see plenty of investment in the technology soon. Being able to combine solar and battery power will entice companies who have desires to commercialise the wheelchairs to invest. The additional power generated allows for the potential additions of things like USB ports.
Anywhere with comparatively high rates of ambulatory disabilities will have companies willing to invest in the tech. North America currently dominates the market, but the Asian Pacific market is the fastest growing. Industry experts expect previously untapped markets, such as Latin America, for example, to embrace these solar/battery hybrids as well.