How to get more from your mobility scooter battery
Wondering how to get the best performance and lifespan from your scooter batteries?
No vehicle performs well without an efficient fuel system. Mobility scooters and power chairs are no exception. The batteries fitted to scooters act as their fuel tanks and should be well maintained accordingly. We answer your questions in this handy guide…
What is the best way to prepare mobility batteries in order to get the most out of them?
Even though your mobility scooter dealer should have fully charged the batteries on your scooter prior to delivery, it is recommended that you charge the batteries before first use. When you have finished for the day put the batteries on charge and LEAVE them on charge until the charger has finished charging. The cost of over night charging is minimal and as long as a suitable automatic charger is being used there is no reason to disconnect the charger until the equipment is next needed for use.
Most mobility scooter batteries are defined as “traction” or “deep cycle”. These batteries start with a very low capacity, and as they are charged and discharged through normal use over a period of time their capacity (available power) increases and eventually peaks at its maximum level. This will affect the range of scooter, from 60% to 100% of the stated range, depending on the number of charging cycles. Therefore in its early life it will appear to have low power (approximately 50% capacity available), and after using the batteries between 10 to 15 times (charging / discharging) the battery should achieve approximately 100% of its capacity.
What lifespan can I expect from my mobility scooter batteries?
Although most manufacturers normally offer a 12 month warranty against manufacturing defects on batteries, mobility batteries should deliver an average lifespan of up to 18 months depending on usage. In a ‘light’ mobility application such as using your mobility scooter once or twice a week the battery can deliver up to three years lifespan. In a ‘heavier’ application such as using your scooter daily on long journeys, the lifespan could be between 12 – 18 months.
What things can affect the range of electric mobility scooters?
The weight of the vehicle and user, ambient temperature, state of battery charge, tyre pressures and terrain can all affect the range of batteries. If the temperature range is outside of our yearly averages i.e. above 35 degrees celcius and below freezing this will affect the range of the battery. If the battery’s “state of charge” is low, then consequently the battery capacity will be low.
Can my batteries be transported by air?
Most sealed mobility batteries can be transported by plane, your battery supplier or dealer can provide an IATA certificate to prove this. Alternatively, the battery may be marked on top with a sticker explaining it is IATA approved.
More mobility scooter battery tips
- Never run your batteries completely flat, take care not to leave lights or any auxiliary equipment after use.
- Regular /daily users – always charge after use.
- Occasional users – charge your equipment before an outing and always after use (ideally when the ‘fuel gauge’ is at approximately 50%).
- When storing your scooter for more than 6 weeks, it is advisable to fully charge the batteries and disconnect them. Check and recharge the batteries monthly.
- Never switch off the charger before the charge complete indicator comes on.
- Always unplug the charger from the equipment, as well as the mains, after charging. (Some chargers can drain batteries if left plugged in while switched of or unplugged from the mains).
- Always dispose of old batteries through an approved source to prevent improper disposal. Please contact your supplier or local authority to find out an appropriate agent.