The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a $50 million loan to Florida-based Vehicle Production Group was recently finalized. The loan, which is part of the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (AVTM) program, will help fund the development and creation of an eco-friendly, wheelchair-accessible car - the MV-1.

In addition to providing a cash infusion for the development and production of the new MV-1, the DOE loan will also support job creation. Once at full capacity, Vehicle Production Group anticipates 22,000 vehicles manufactured each year at its Indiana production facility. This will create 100 new jobs in Indiana. An additional 800 direct and indirect jobs could be created with new positions opening up at suppliers, assembly plants and through the vehicle sales process.

Vehicle Production Group’s MV-1 with the Green Option operates on compressed natural gas (CNG) and will be designed from the ground up with wheelchair accessibility in mind. The vehicle will include an integrated ramp, a 36” by 56” doorway, room for a wheelchair or scooter and room to seat six.

The factory-installed CNG fuel system includes three type-3 CNG tanks for an estimated 290-mile driving range. Since the vehicle does not use gasoline for power, it does not come with an official miles per gallon estimate. Instead, the MV-1 is rated with a 21.1 Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE).

Interested consumers can get a peek at the vehicle at one of several upcoming conventions including the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association’s Spring Conference in Chicago and the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles and Edison, New Jersey. For more information about the MV-1, visit the Vehicle Production Group website.