"We can fly to the moon, but we can't go up a flight of stairs in a wheelchair."
"That can't be it!" thought Andreas Jutzeler and immediately set to work on a project that is now known as JST Multidrive.
1996, a good twenty years ago. The idea came from a hike with a well-known wheelchair user. A staircase along the way could only be mastered by carrying the wheelchair up the stairs. Andreas Jutzeler wanted to build a wheelchair that could be used to climb stairs or overcome other obstacles. It soon became clear to the inventor why no such wheelchair existed anywhere in the world until then. Many ideas seemed possible, but then failed because of the technical implementation.
In 2000, thanks to a special drive concept and climbing technology, the first wheelchair model capable of climbing stairs was developed. At that time, Andreas was already working with two partners to implement his ideas. The electrical engineer Bruno Schranz and the wheelchair manufacturer Max Jung were enthusiastic about the idea and participated in the development of a new wheelchair concept. But even the concept study did not want to work, so further development was needed. A specially founded company was to continue the development and construction. JST Multidrive AG was founded.
A concept idea takes shape
In 2011, the time had finally come. With the Multidrive, a wheelchair concept was presented that could overcome stairs, climb over tree trunks, navigate stony river banks and also remain drivable in snow and sand. However, this concept was only available as a mobile model, which proved to be far too heavy with a tare weight of 100 kilograms. So they continued to tinker, design, test, change and improve. Until the Multidrive weighed only 70 kilograms in 2015. However, as a manually operated model, it was still too heavy for the target clientele. A partner company was found that would make the wheelchair even lighter by using light metals and modern plastics.
In 2016, it became clear that there were still some technical challenges to be overcome for a stair-climbing wheelchair. But in order to use all the acquired knowledge and the studies profitably, it was decided to incorporate the know-how into an all-terrain wheelchair.
Revolution on the Stockhorn
In September 2016, the time has finally come. The Mountain Drive is presented to the curious public. A wheelchair in the focus of wheelchair users, rehabilitation facilities and potential owners that can finally do what many have been waiting for, independence and flexibility to move even in rough terrain. Since then, 4 Mountain Drives have been in use on the Stockhorn.
Ready for series production
2017 was the year of challenges and finesses. Thanks to the 4 Mountain Drive on the Stockhorn and the long-term test, on the pilgrimage trail from Rohrschach to Geneva, the last illnesses could be improved and the Mountain Drive matured into a series product.
Production gives everything
In 2018, everything was focused on production. Thanks to excellent cooperation between engineers and suppliers, production of the JST Mountain Drive was accelerated. In July 2018, JST Multidrive AG was already able to deliver the first series vehicles to destinations and private individuals.