Making electric cars accessible

A white electric car on the road.

While it’s certainly not impossible to adapt electric vehicles there are quite a few things to consider before buying one. First let’s divide electric cars into two categories, hybrids together with electric cars built on a fossil fuel platform and fully electric cars.

A red electric car charging.

Hybrids and electric cars built on fossil fuel platforms

For example: Peugeot e-208, Volkswagen Golf GTE, Ford Kuga


For the most part, these cars are straight forward to work with. Apart from the engine, they share most design elements with standard cars. Like the standardised 12V power for electric functions such as instruments and indicators. This makes it easier for the vehicle adaptation technician to tap the power needed by any adaptations.

They also share much of the mechanical design with standard cars. For example, how seats attach to the floor. This makes it possible to install most seat adaptations such as swivel seats and seat lifts.


The main issue with these cars is the battery placement. The battery must be somewhere and depending on the make and model it can be in a position that makes certain installations impossible. For example, even if installing a wheelchair hoist in the boot of a car is an adaptation that is super common for the fossil fuel version, it can be a whole other story if the battery is under the boot floor in the electric or hybrid version of the car. In this case, installing a wheelchair hoist in that area can be much more complicated or even impossible.

However, it’s also possible that the location of the battery doesn’t cause any problems at all.

Always check with your vehicle adaptation technician before buying a car. Together you can work out what sort of adaptation you need and then find out what cars are suitable for you.


An electric car with gull-wing doors.

Fully electric cars

For example: Tesla and Polestar


One thing that’s great about electric cars is they don’t need any heaters as this is already built-in. This means a defroster is already in place in the car, which is great if you live in an area where sub-zero temperatures are common.

Fully electric doesn’t need the same type of transmission used in fossil fuel cars. In other words, we can treat them like automatic transmission cars when we install mechanical hand controls. However, full electrical functions might be an issue. See the cons section below.

Other simple mechanical alterations such as swivels seats and transfer boards etc are usually not a problem to install. But as we’ve said before, always check with your vehicle adaptation technician before buying a car.



These types of vehicles can be very different from the cars we are used to. Ironically, finding a power source in a fully electric car can be a huge issue, as these cars might not use the 12V standard. For example, electric functions on a set of hand controls might not be electrically compatible with the car.

For more power demanding adaptations, simply finding a place to tap the power that can handle enough amperage can be a problem. 

Another design element that might differ is how the seat attaches to the floor. Typically, a seat attaches to the floor with four bolts but on certain fully electric cars, this is not always the case. Furthermore, even if it’s possible to remove the seat physically, the car’s electronics might not allow it. Being able to circumvent systems like this is up to the manufacturer. Some of them will approve of bypassing certain systems while others are very strict and won’t even allow third parties to service their cars.


An electric van charging.

Vans and larger vehicles

This is an area where the weight comes into play. Even on fossil fuel vehicles, you need to calculate the weight of the finished adaptation. Any wiggle room you might have in terms of weight can be much smaller in electric vehicles than in fossil fuel vehicles.

So why is weight important? Well, one reason is the maximum capacity of the chassis, but there are also regulations on what you can drive on a standard driver’s licence. Depending on where you are in the world, these might differ, so make sure that any weight added to your car doesn’t prevent you from registering it and legally driving it.


The future

Innovation is constantly happening at both manufacturers of the vehicles and the adaptation solutions. Even if electric cars are becoming a more common sight, they are a relatively new phenomenon. For now, you might feel that it seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth. But don’t fret, the information we’ve given you in this article is only to inform you of known issues and to encourage you to check with your vehicle adaptation technician before deciding on what to get.

Who knows, tomorrow, most cons mentioned in this article might be outdated.

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