This paper discusses the design and low-cost implementation of direction and speed controller for an electric wheelchair actuated using a permanent magnet direct current (PMDC) motor. Most of the works are performed either with the simulation of PMDC motor control with various techniques or studied the performance of a single type of controller in real-time with the wheelchair. In this work, the authors simulated the control of PMDC motor with three different controllers and tuned the parameters for real-time implementation of electric wheelchair control using PMDC motor. The authors attempted the simple solution using push button-based interface as well as a graphical user interface for the direction and speed control of electric wheelchair. The signal processing path of the controller, decode the user command input for the direction and desired speed. The controller generates necessary pulse width modulated signals to the H-bridge driver for directions forward, backward, left, and right direction as well as speed control of wheelchair. The user speed control commands low, slightly medium, medium, high, and very high speed are sensed to limit the speed of wheelchair. The performance capability of the intelligent neural network and fuzzy logic controller is studied and compared with proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller with variations in speed. The PID, neural network and fuzzy logic controller are designed using Matlab-Simulink for PMDC motor and controller parameters are tuned for driving the wheelchair in the real-time implementation using the ATmega 328P microcontroller. The fuzzy logic controller in the electric wheelchair demonstrated the improved performance with less peak overshoot and faster settling with less oscillation compared to PID and neural network controller. © 2019, © 2019 IETE.