קלנועית: גלגולה של הצלחה
המוצר: כלי רכב חשמלי קטן לנסיעת בעלי מוגבלות תנועה
המפתחים: יצחק וגבריאל גוטסמן החברה: אפיקים רכב חשמלי
תחילת הפיתוח: 1975
Product: A Small Electric Vehicle for the Mobility Disabled
Developers: Yitzchak and Gabriel Gottesman Company: Afikim Electric Vehicles
Start of Development: 1975
The Kal-No’it, or mobility scooter, was born on the paths of Kibbutz Afikim. During the 1970s, Yitzchak Gottesman, one of the kibbutz members who worked in the kibbutzim wholesale supplier, imported a small electric vehicle from Australia.
The vehicle was intended for movement within the kibbutz plywood factory and for transporting light loads both into and out of the factory. The kibbutz members soon discovered that the little vehicle served as a convenient and agile replacement for the tractor, horse-drawn cart and bicycles they had used until then, and they sought to import additional vehicles for other sectors of the kibbutz economy.
Gabriel Gottesman, manager of the kibbutz vehicle fleet, suggested to save costs and manufacture a similar vehicle in the kibbutz garage. The other members took up the task and the first Israeli electric vehicle was quickly developed and constructed.
The vehicle’s first name was Kal-Noa (Easy Movement) but eventually became known as the Kal-No’it, its tradename until today.
Towards the end of the 1970s, the Gottesman brothers understood that the Kal-No’it could be used not only for work, but also to provide a solution for the mobility disabled. In order to realize this vision, it was necessary to upgrade and adjust the existing vehicle and so they approached Arik Becker, a kibbutz member and student of design at Bezalel. Arik, who thought that such a vehicle may be suitable for his grandmother, adopted the assignment as his final studies project. He designed a new, smaller vehicle that incorporated up-to-date technologies such as plastic parts and electronics, rendering it more suitable for mass production in the specially designated factory the kibbutz had prepared for this purpose.
The Afikim Electric Vehicle company was officially founded in 1978 and has since been engaged in the design, manufacture, and marketing of the Kal-No’it to a range of customers in the Israeli market and abroad. Today, the company controls approximately 70 percent of the Israeli market, markets its products in more than 25 countries worldwide, and sells thousands of Kal-No’it vehicles every year.
Since the first Kal-No’it took to the paths of the kibbutz, the Afikim company has added further technological developments in the field of electric vehicle mobility. It offers a range of models adapted for users with different needs, all contributing towards enhancing the mobility capability of the elderly and the disabled.