Shachar Hillel launches a Shabbat-proof scooter

By Candice Krieger, September 21, 2010

You can now travel to synagogue on Shabbat and the High Holy Days without breaking Jewish law thanks to a unique mobility scooter launched in Israel and now available in the UK.

Shachar Hillel is the marketing manager of Afikim Electric Vehicles, which develops and manufactures advanced, electrically-powered mobility scooters.

They have teamed up with high-tech organisation Zomet to create a special scooter which is compliant with halachah, enabling the owner to operate the vehicle during Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

Mr Shachar, 45, tells People: "You don't need to start the ignition to use it." The scooter uses a separate circuit board which results in steady acceleration with no activation required by the user. It starts by itself, with a delayed reaction, once someone sits on it. He says: "We launched in Israel and saw that there was a demand elsewhere. It's for less able people who want to go to synagogue on Shabbat and the Jewish holidays."

The scooters are being distributed in the UK through TGA Electric Leisure. Afikim Electric Vehicles is based in a Kibbutz in the north of Israel. "This new Shabbat controller to UK models continues to reflect its ethos for innovation, technical excellence and ultimately hassle-free independence for the end user."

Last updated: 11:40am, September 21 2010