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Wheelchair/Handicapped Hand Control Placement changes for 2021-2022 and later Updated Model X & S

UncaNed

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2015
1,836
7,344
East coast
As a happy 2018 Model X75D owner in a wheelchair, I told the mechanic to install the hand control on the right to avoid problems while entering and exiting the driver's seat; it worked well, so I had them do the same on my new Plaid X.

But the wipers, horn, cruise control, and auto pilot are now on the right side of the steering wheel, so now have to take my hand off the hand control to engage auto pilot. (TL;DR? Scroll to "MY CONCLUSION" below).

MARCH 2018 X75D :
Hand control type: Veigel/Mobility Products "Basic Hand Control"

Tesla functions controlled by the stalks on the left:

Wiper
Washer
Cruise control
Auto Pilot

Controlled by hand control on the right:
Accelerator
Brakes

MAY 2022 X PLAID:
Hand control type:
Veigel/Mobility Products "Compact II Hand Control"

Tesla functions controlled by the scroll wheel and buttons also on the right
:
Horn
Wiper
Washer
Cruise control
Auto Pilot

Controlled by hand control also ON THE RIGHT:
Accelerator
Brakes

I wasn't counting on having to take my right hand off the hand control in order to activate cruise control; I'm not an expert, so PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before installing a hand control, but be aware the Plaid updated Model X might have significantly different considerations for adding a hand control!
__________________________________________________
Other notes on hand controls:

1) The steering yoke potentially introduces another, huge concern for handicapped drivers; we must take extra care to ensure clearance between our knees/thighs and the bottom of the steering Yoke, because unlike with a round wheel, the lower ends ("corners") of the steering wheel - can now catch and jamb against our legs and knees if they otherwise press against the bottom of the yoke, unlike how a round wheel just sort of keeps rolling against us in the same situation.

2) comparison of the two types of hand controls on my Model X's:

Veigel/Mobility Products "Basic Hand Control"-
A bit over $1,000 installed in my March 2018 X75D, works every bit as well as the "Compact I below, except the built in parking brake collar had a specialized screw break after 4 years and Viegel/Mobility products wouldn't sell a replacement because they didn't; want the control in use for liability reasons. The control otherwise still works fine without that though. This would totally be a non-issue with the 2021 refreshed S & X, as those now have the built in "hill-holder" brake programmed to work seamlessly, unlike the 2018 model X.

Veigel/Mobility Products "Compact II Hand Control"-
$2,400 installed in my May 2022 Plaid X, I was surprised they installed this model; I think the "Basic" model above would have worked as well; perhaps they installed this so as to allow more clearance to move the driver's seat forward for when I lend my Tesla to shorter drivers.
__________________________________________________
MY CONCLUSION:
For older, pre-2021-refresh Model X, I think either of the above would work nicely. For Plaid and probably long range, REFRESHED Model S & X, I think a better choice might be the Mobility Products Classic 3500 series controller -or something like it - I don't know if this specific model can be fitted to a Tesla, but it meets my requirement of keeping my right hand free to use the Yoke-mounted controls on the right side of the yoke, and keeping the area clear to swing my legs in through the driver's side door and under the steering wheel.

However, if this means changing the hand control to the other side from what you're used to, that might introduce the potential for a driver error, so be careful. I have left controls on my /Teslas and a Right hand Classic 3500 series on my old Buick, and seem to do OK with that.

I hope this helps someone. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before installing a hand control in any case.
 
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