Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – As an expert on electric motors, Philippe Metzinger (French nationality) is very enthusiastic in designing electric vehicles for people with disabilities. So far, he has installed 100 electric wheelchairs to present to Vietnamese disabilities.

Philippe’s interesting work


electric wheelchair, french man, disabled, lottery ticket 

Philippe’s idea has become a reality. 

It all began in 2009, when a group of members of the charity society named Rotary Club (Lyon, France) paid a visit to Vietnam and saw many people with disabilities earned a living by selling lottery tickets on wheelchairs in HCM City. A member of the Rotary Club commented: “It’s easy to see the difficulties and tiredness of them when they have to drive the wheelchair by hands on the crowded streets to earn a living.”

That image made them concerned. When they met their fellow Philippe Metzinger who was working in Ho Chi Minh City (Philippe opened an electric bicycle trading company there) and told him their concern. Philippe came up with the idea of installing an electric motor to wheelchairs to turn them into electric vehicles.

Philippe says that this is a very “interesting” work because it does not like the design of electric bikes that he does everyday. Philippe previously developed a system including a battery-bag, a power connection network that is very safe and the engine to stick on the wheel. With this system, within 10 minutes he can turn any ordinary bike into an electric bike. However, when he applied it to improve a wheelchair into an electric wheelchair, it is not easy.

According to Philippe, designing electric wheelchairs from the wheelchairs of Vietnamese disabled is complicated. The reason is that the Rotary Club only provides him with the electric motors that are fit to only one kind of wheelchair. Meanwhile, every wheelchair of Vietnamese disabled has different parts and details with different technical specifications.

To complete the improvements of each vehicle, Philippe and his colleague, Nguyen Minh chien, had to discuss about the details of each wheelchair because every vehicle has different design. Since 2009, Philippe Metzinger and the Rotary Club have successfully designed and installed 100 electric wheelchairs for Vietnamese disabled.

100 electric wheelchairs for the disabled


electric wheelchair, french man, disabled, lottery ticket 

Philippe (2nd row, first from the left) with his colleagues and members of the Rotary Club. 

To test, in 2009, the Rotary Club assisted Philippe to design and install 10 electric wheelchairs. The first disabled people who received the vehicles are a group of disabled people from the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai who sold lottery ticket in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr. Tran Kim Phuoc, one of the first who received an electric wheelchair from the Rotary Club, said: “Using this car is very simple. I have to recharge it once for each four days. When it is out of power, I can push it manually. Since I got it, my job has become more convenient and easier. I have no longer suffered from body pain every night as before.”

The Rotary Club continued to campaign to expand the program. On March 12, 2013, 90 other electric wheelchairs were given to 90 people with disabilities who work as lottery ticket vendors in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai Province, bringing the total number to 100.

Nguyen Thi Huong, a disabled woman from Quang Ngai province, who sells lottery tickets in District 12, HCM City, said: “Having this wheelchair, my job is easier. I can travel farther, go to more places and sell more tickets to improve family income.”

Nguyen Tuu, who sells lottery tickets in Tan Phu District, said: “I am more than 70 years old. My health is no longer good so I’m is exhausted after driving the normal wheelchair for a while. It is wonderful to have a motored wheelchair like this.”

Philippe said that because of limited funding, he had to use the battery produced by Vietnam, which weighs up to 8kg, while the batteries of France is only 2.5 kg but its capacity is 12 times higher than the Vietnamese product. However, the price for this batter is up to VND4 million ($200) so he had to choose the Vietnamese battery.

Seeing a foreigner who carefully calculates the cost of every detail of the wheelchair, one can see his heart for the disabled in Vietnam.

Translated by Na Son

From Dan Tri

By vivian