my WHILL power wheelchair fits into a Prius

The WHILL is not a wheelchair coded for medical insurance billing. It is a personal mobility system that is smart and accessible. The best you can do is make the best work for you! This Japanese marvel makes me feel like I might be a fashionista in Tokyo with all the cosplay and art culture. It weighs about 100 lbs, and comes apart into individual pieces. The heaviest part lift is 48 lbs. The lithium battery weighs only 6 lbs. and looks like a hand vacuum. Overall, if you have muscular dystrophy or POTS with Ehlers-Danlos, you will appreciate this lifestyle update.

I have an engineering molecule in my frontal lobe, and hold several patents. This machine is my mobility dream. I have very progressive muscular dystrophy on top of several rare mutations. I am 44 years old today, and am heading into pulmonary distress. The general rule is, “If you use it, you lose it” and so, being the picker-upper of these parts into my Prius Prime Plugin (I get 96 mpg) is becoming a job I cannot sustain.

The “getting the WHILL wheelchair into a Prius” project is entertaining my friends. First, I coined “if there’s a WHILL, there’s a way”. Next, I am following inspirational people who use the hashtag #whillchair and #whillchairlife, which is so fabulous. Lastly, I spent a week trying to rig up a winch and a hoist and some mechanic padded cushion and a lot of ties and chains. So far, I realize the winch needs more wrenching power to push then it is to lift in the first place! Day 2  MacGyvering fail.

getting a WHILL power wheelchair into a Prius with winch and hoist and belt
getting a WHILL power wheelchair into a Prius with winch and hoist and belt

The heaviest part is 52 lbs and I cannot do it without some lift gear. I am not looking to place the wheelchair whole into the car. That’s not an option, and the seats are not removable. Here is a video of how I am loading currently, which is prohibitive. 

  1. wheelchair is “WHILL” c2, not the f-folding kind
  2. car is a prius prime plugin 2019

The Smart Lifter LM – Lift up to 175lbs

Smart Lifter LM – Lift up to 175lbs

I am inquiring about the smart lifter LM for my prius. According to the measurements, there is clearance for the post. There is 14 inches from trunk to hatchback and my WHILL wheelchair fits without the seat, but to lift it, I will need the arm installed and it will have to move out when hatch is open and begin hoisting. 

Specs and Measurements of the wheelchair trunk space for a Prius Prime Plugin 2019

  • 32 inches from trunk lock to back of seats
  • 42 inches trunk width 
  • 32 inches wide the loading area guard strip on bumper
  • 14 inches tall the midway area from trunk floor to window of hatch
  • 45 inches height from trunk floor to window hatch hinge
  • 28 inches space when bench seats are flat until roof

Send me ideas for a lift that doesn’t cost $4,000 or a $40,000 wheelchair van.

Yes, I have a fundraiser for the wheelchair. It is not covered by insurance because it doesn’t cure a medical illness. You can donate to my fundraiser on instagram, or donate to my special-needs trust, via paypal. All proceeds are to be used exclusively in my lifetime.

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