Which WHILL model is FDA Cleared?
Model M is an FDA cleared medical device/power wheelchair and is restricted for sale by or on the order of a physician.
Model A is not considered a medical device and has not been submitted to the FDA for review or clearance.
What types of terrain can WHILL Personal EVs travel on?
Our personal EVs have all-wheel drive and patented omni-wheel technology, allowing them to travel on rugged surfaces including cracked sidewalks, grass, pebbles and even light snow. They have a ground clearance of 3.5” and can climb over obstacles of up to 3” high. Check out the videos on our YouTube channel to see our personal EVs in action.
What makes Model M so different and better than other powered wheelchairs?
From its modern, sleek design to its versatility and safety features, the Model M is uniquely different compared to traditional powered wheelchairs.
With its compact size (short wheelbase), front Omni-wheels and a very responsive directional controller, Model M turns on a dime indoors especially in tight spaces, making swiveling casters that get in your way and scratch your walls a thing of the past.
The Model M also tackles tough outdoor terrains with its all-wheel drive system. Feel at ease driving in urban environments, shopping, through inclement weather such as snow and rain, conquering the hills of San Francisco, or hiking on steep hills. The electromagnetic brakes will keep you safe from any sliding going up or down a hill up to 10 degrees.
Model M is also loaded with speed, power and range. With a maximum speed of 5.5 mph, and a range of 15 miles on a single charge, Model M is not only empowering, but liberating as well. And its three speed settings will fit your comfort level. We promise it’ll put a smile on your face.
Purchasing WHILL Personal EVs (Model A or Model M)
Where can I purchase WHILL Model A and Model M?
WHILL has many medical equipment provider partners throughout the United States, and several online channels who only sell the Model A.
To make sure we match your specific needs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-844-699-4455 so that we can identify an authorized WHILL dealer near you.
What is the product warranty for the Model A and Model M?
Both the Model A and Model M have one of the industry’s best warranties. They are covered for 5 years on the base and seat frame; 1 year on mechanical and electrical components, and 6 months on the batteries and tires. View the Warranty Policy for complete details.
What are the prices for the Model A and the Model M?
The MSRP of the Model A is $10,999, and the MSRP of the Model M is $10,999. Pricing through providers and resellers may vary.
Please contact email@example.com or call 1-844-699-4455 for an authorized WHILL dealer who can provide pricing to you.
Does either the the Model M or the Model A require a prescription?
The Model M requires a prescription because it is a power wheelchair. Because Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician, a doctor’s prescription is required.
The Model A is not considered a medical device and has not been submitted to the FDA for review or clearance. Therefore, Model A does not require a prescription.
Is either the Model A or the Model M covered by medical insurance?
The WHILL Model M has received an HCPCS code for reimbursement; however, since Model M is a four-wheel drive (4WD) product, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) assigned the Model M in a unique category named K0898 (“Power wheelchair, not otherwise classified”). This category assignment will make obtaining reimbursement a rather difficult endeavor.
Why K0898? In the Medicare Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding’s (PDAC) evaluation process, a strong emphasis is placed on Medicare’s stringent focus on the device’s ability to assist the patient with participating in Mobility Related Activities of Daily Living (MRADL) such as toileting, feeding, dressing, grooming, and bathing. Under these strict guidelines and evaluation processes, Model M’s highly beneficial 4WD system was not deemed necessary for indoor use.
WHILL Model M’s compact design and 4WD system allows for a very short wheelbase (only 20.7 inches from wheel to wheel) and, in combination with the front omni-wheel technology, it enables simpler and safer maneuverability within tight indoor spaces like bathrooms and kitchens, and through standard doorways and across thresholds within the home. This level of accessibility potentially means less home renovations and dings and scratches on walls and furniture.
In our opinion, it is always worth trying to obtain Medicare reimbursement. Confer with your physician, occupational therapist or physical therapist to provide the right set of documents to Medicare proving that you require the WHILL for indoor use, as well as your need to go outside and maneuver safely across various terrains and over obstacles you regularly encounter such as uneven pavement, no curb cuts and gravel.
Going the Private Insurance Route
Private insurances, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, has covered as much as 60%. Although WHILL customers have had success receiving reimbursement through private insurance, a high level of persistence will be required. In addition, there is no standard amount, so be prepared to insist on additional funds. Usually, this means it will require your unwavering effort rather than relying on a reseller to do this for you.
NOTE: WHILL Model A is not considered a medical device and has not been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for review or clearance. Consequently, this item is non-covered (no Medicare benefit).
Model A & Model M Features and Specifications
Why use Omni-wheels for the front wheels?
The omni-directional wheel technology is one of the advanced features of Model A and Model M that give these products unique capabilities.
Conventional omni-directional wheel technology was invented for vehicles such as forklifts and cars but has never been an effective application for wheelchairs and mobility devices due to several design flaws in existing implementations. Seeing these efforts, we believed that the same concept used in these other vehicles could be perfected and ultimately applied to personal mobility to create a revolutionary device.
The omni-directional wheel engineered by WHILL, is built using 24 small rollers that collectively create one large wheel. The rollers all move individually, allowing you to glide sideways and achieve a tighter turning radius, while simultaneously providing the greater terrain coverage. Our WHILL engineers have tested and refined the omni-wheel to create a front wheel so sophisticated that it redefines the whole concept of personal mobility. The team’s pride and dedication is evidenced by the attention to detail and countless hours put into this single component on the device. Some may see it as just another wheel, but we see it as the next generation of personal mobility.
The fact that omni-wheels do not need to swivel eliminates the dangers and difficulty often found using swiveling casters. Casters need additional room to rotate before changing direction and as they rotate they can get stuck against walls and cabinets. They can also get tangled up in a user’s feet as they rotate, causing injury.
What’s the difference between Model A and Model M?
See a side-by-side comparison of the two products here.
What are the specifications for Model A and Model M?
Does Model M have tilt and recline or elevation?
No, WHILL Model M power wheelchair does not currently have these features.
Does the footplate fold up?
Yes, the footplate does fold up, allowing easier access into and out of the chair by better positioning your feet on the ground.
WHILL Personal EVs are 4-wheel drive, but with two motors, how are the front wheels powered?
Each front wheel is powered by a belt from the motor. Watch this video of users powering over hills and through rocky terrain, yet are able to maneuver indoors with ease.
Care and maintenance
What type of batteries do you use, and can I purchase regular car batteries if they need replacing?
Model A and Model M use two (2) sealed, non-spillable lead acid (AGM) batteries that require no maintenance. They can only be replaced by an authorized WHILL service provider. Do not attempt to change or remove batteries.
Click here for complete battery specs.
What happens when my product warranty runs out?
Your WHILL authorized service representative can still perform repairs and maintenance on your WHILL product. They will bill you directly after the warranty period has expired.
What does the product warranty cover, and for how long?
STANDARD PRODUCT WARRANTY
Products are warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for a period from the date of shipment to you equal to the following: (1) with respect to the base and seat frame, five (5) years, (2) with respect to mechanical and electrical components, one (1) year, or (3) with respect to batteries and tires, six (6) months (“Warranty Period”) in each case when used in accordance with the applicable usage documentation. If a defect arises during the Warranty Period, WHILL will, at its option, (a) repair the affected Product at no charge using new parts or parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability, (b) exchange the affected Product with a functionally equivalent Product that is new or formed from new and/or previously used parts that are equivalent to new in performance and reliability or, with your consent, a Product that is at least functionally equivalent to the Product it replaces; or (c) refund the original purchase price for the affected Product. This warranty excludes normal depletion of consumable and/or wearable parts (such as tires, trim components, covers and seat cushions) unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship, and damage resulting from abuse, accident, modifications, unauthorized repairs, or other causes that are not defects in materials and workmanship. No other person is authorized to modify this limited warranty.
Should my WHILL require Maintenance, what should I do?
WHILL Model A and Model M contain no user serviceable parts. Do not attempt to replace or repair any parts (including the batteries). Any service should be done by a WHILL-authorized service representative.
Our South San Francisco warehouse stocks finished goods and spare parts. All parts ship next day upon receipt of order.
To clean the Model A and Model M, wipe with a wet cloth or rag. Only use water, and scrub vigorously to remove scuffs/stains from the plastic covers.
- Tires should only be replaced by a WHILL-authorized service representative.
- Check tires regularly for signs of wear as directed below and contact WHILL Customer Support for assistance.
- Tire replacement intervals will vary depending on the frequency and conditions of use.
- Tires should not produce unusual noise or vibration when they rotate.
- Check the rear tires for signs of wear or damage. Rear tires should have no visible deformation or flat spots.
- Check the omni-wheels for signs of wear or damage. The rubber thickness on the rollers should not be less than 3mm
How easy is it to clean the front Omni-wheels?
Very Easy! Most debris falls right off the tires, but if there is anything left, just wipe the wheels with a damp cloth and you’re done.
Help – I need service!
First, call the WHILL dealer where you purchased your product for service. Or, please call or email WHILL Customer Service at 844-699-4455 or WHILL Customer Support.
Traveling with WHILL
Can I take a WHILL Personal EV on an Airplane?
WHILL Model A meets TSA guidelines for airline transportation; however, the device has not been specifically tested for airline transportation.
WHILL Model A uses a sealed, non-spillable lead acid battery called AGM (absorbed glass mat). Click here for complete battery specs. This type of battery does not require the airlines to disengage the battery. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has a guideline (Link Here) you can reference.
Airlines require measures to ensure accidental activation of Model A does not occur. Model A provides a “Lock” feature via the iPhone app. You may also place an “Air-Safe” plug (Purchase Here) into the charger port which will immobilize the device.
For additional information, most airlines have resources and services for individuals needing additional assistance while traveling. Here are links to popular domestic airlines accessibility services website pages:
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin America
Please contact your airlines for questions and additional support.
Note: WHILL Model M has not been tested for air travel, and WHILL does not approve of air travel with the device.
How can I transport the Model A and Model M in a car?
Yes, Model A can be transported in a car, as long as no one is seated in it while moving. To transport Model A in a vehicle that is not specially modified to accommodate a powered Personal EV you should first ensure that your vehicle is compatible. Generally, a vehicle needs an opening that is 40 inches high and 50 inches wide. We recommend the WheelzAhead Tour ramp, a collapsible and very portable ramp that is 36-60 inches long by 7.5 inches wide. Model A easily drives up the ramp using the directional controller or the remote drive feature, and fits nicely in the back of the car. The loading and unloading process takes about a minute. You should always secure the Model A against unexpected movement when transporting.
Model M can be transported in a car, with or without someone sitting in it. In order to sit in Model M while riding in a car you will need the optional four-point tie-down system that has been RESNA tested for safety. Using the four point tie downs the Model M must be secured to the vehicle and the user should also be secured using appropriate straps and safety belts as described in the Model M User Manual. To transport Model M in a vehicle that is not specially modified to accommodate a wheelchair you should first ensure that your vehicle is compatible. Generally, a vehicle needs an opening that is 40 inches high and 50 inches wide. We recommend the WheelzAhead Tour ramp, a collapsible and very portable ramp that is 36-60 inches long by 7.5 inches wide. WHILL Model M easily drives up the ramp using the directional controller and fits nicely in the back of the car. The loading and unloading process takes about a minute. You should always secure the Model M against unexpected movement when transporting.
2. Using Portable Ramp
Should the Model A be too tall to fit in the back of a van or SUV, we recommend you remove the back support. The instructions are detailed below:
Step 1. Remove the two back support set screws (one on each side of the back support) using a #4 metric hex key.
Step 2. With your hand, remove the back support by sliding it upward and out of the brackets.
NOTE: Once back support is removed, reinsert and lightly tighten screws into bracket holes to avoid losing them during transportation.
Upon arrival at the destination, unload the Model A from the vehicle then reattach the back support by performing the removal process in reverse.
2. Using TriLift
WHILL’s compact products just got even easier to transport thanks to our friends at TriLift Mobility . Now you can bring your WHILL Personal EV wherever you go without having to worry about limited cargo space or bulky platform attachments. TriLift’s minimalistic design compliments the WHILL Personal EV’s petite frame, allowing you to attach your Personal EV to a vehicle without adding much to its length. Even better, TriLift’s simple attachment process combined with your Personal EV’s intuitive functionality makes connecting the two a breeze.
WHILL’s compact produ
The TriLift system requires the attachment of a bracket to your WHILL Personal EV. The bracket is essentially permanent, as it is not meant to be removed on a regular basis, but it does not require any warranty- voiding customization. The Trilift system works as a set. Along with the bracket attached to your Personal EV, TriLift also requires a lift attached to your automobile’s Class II or III hitch. To attach your WHILL Personal EV to the lift, simply back your Personal EV up so that the triangular bracket is aligned with the smaller triangular lift. The lift is powered, so simply use the remote to elevate your Personal EV. You will see the smaller triangle interlocks with the larger one, keep raising the lift until your Personal EV is fully off the ground and secure.
Check out TriLift’s gallery to see how it looks on different vehicles. TriLift can be used with any vehicle that has a Class II or Class III Hitch. TriLift costs $3,500 for the bracket plus an installation fee. Click here to find a TriLift dealer near you. For more information on TriLift’s cost and size specifications, contact the manufacturer directly here.
Can I take WHILL Personal EVs on public transit?
Yes, Model M power wheelchair can be equipped for public transport. If you are going to ride in Model M while on public transportation be sure to order the optional tie down points. Model M’s 4-point tie down system is RESNA tested and safe to use on any ADA compliant form of public transportation. Check your local public transportation website for more info on bringing your powered mobility device on board. Here’s a link to the Federal Transit Administration Questions and Answers Concerning Wheelchairs and Bus and Rail Service.
Model A is not equipped to be ridden in while on public transportation since it only has two securement points in front.