Welcome to OECVA
- We represent the European manufacturers of wheelchair accessible vehicles
- We ensure the highest safety and comfort standards for wheelchair travelling passengers
- We provide the maximum choice and mobility for disabled wheelchair users
OECVA was established in 2012 to act as the voice for the European manufacturers of wheelchair accessible vehicles
OECVA is an association of European wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) manufacturers and component suppliers. Our members are small to medium sized businesses spread throughout Europe.
Primarily our members supply converted vehicles directly to wheelchair users for personal use and also to organisations that serve and support wheelchair users who cannot easily transfer from their wheelchair to a vehicle or vehicle seat. Our members customers need to be able to access and exit vehicles and on most occasions travel in a vehicle while remaining in their wheelchair.
Our members are responsible for the design, testing, manufacture, supply and aftersales care for severely disabled vehicle passengers and drivers throughout Europe and ultimately enable the same level of mobility, traveling comfort and safety for disabled road users as is available to all road users.
Oecva aims to improve the quality and safety of WAVs on the market throughout Europe whilst representing the WAV sector within the European Automotive Industry and to moderate the impact of regulation on the WAV market
OECVA's members are specialist low-volume manufacturers and convertors of wheelchair accessible vehicles and their suppliers.
Primarily our members supply converted vehicles directly to wheelchair users for personal use and also to organisations that serve and support wheelchair users who cannot easily transfer from their wheelchair to a vehicle or vehicle seat.
OECVA works with the main automotive manufacturers (OEMs), approval authorities, testing centres, and national and European governments to achieve their aims. We welcome all organisations with similar aims, including wheelchair manufacturers and wheelchair tie-downs and occupant belts manufacturers.
What is a WAV?
Wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) are cars and multi-purpose vehicles which have been modified and converted to offer access to one or more passengers who need to travel in their own wheelchair rather than transfer to a car seat.
These are not one-off adaptations but vehicles especially redesigned for access and safety for the wheelchair user. they are, however, built in low volume with fewer than 50,000 new vehicles produced each year across a wide range of main manufacturers’ models.
Who are our members?
OECVA’s members are specialist low-volume manufacturers and convertors of wheelchair accessible vehicles and their suppliers.
We work direct with disabled people with mobility difficulties and the organisations which serve them. Customers are private clients, charities, businesses, public sector, health authorities and government organisations.
One of the greatest threats to the independent mobility of disabled motorists is the application of inappropriate or unaffordable legislative standards.
No major motor manufacturer produces a wheelchair accessible vehicle for personal use; they are produced by smaller companies in smaller volumes.
How a WAV is made
Initially a feasibility study is undertaken by an expert team of design engineers to decide upon an ideal vehicle to be converted followed by a vast amount of engineering development.
In an attempt to make the vehicle look as original as possible, much of the pre-existing vehicle must be precisely re-engineered.
Upon confirmation from the governing bodies concerning the safety tests, production is ready to begin.
Safety and Testing
Safety is paramount when converting a vehicle for wheelchair access. Technical expertise comes from specialist working groups which are made up of experts from the member companies and, by invitation, to experts in various related fields.
All design solutions are rigorously tested against the highest industry standards.
No shortcuts are taken when it comes to passenger safety.