For elderly individuals who need assistance with mobility, mobility scooters provide a great way to move around especially outdoors.
These motorised gadgets can be used around the home, on pavement along the streets and even on the road (class 3 mobility scooters only). They use batteries to power a motor which drives the wheels.
Mobility scooters battery range
When buying a mobility scooter, it is important to check the battery range. This is the maximum distance it will travel before the battery needs to be recharged.
Small boot scooters will often have a maximum range of 10-15 miles depending on the battery capacity. Larger class 2 scooters can reach up to 20 miles.
Full size, road-legal class 3 mobility scooters spot bigger batteries since the scooter has to travel at higher speeds. The scooters are also designed for long-distance travelling.
They therefore boast longer ranges, usually up to 30 miles (48km) on a single charge.
The actual range achieved by a mobility scooter in real life may differ from what is specified by the manufacturer. This is because other factors like weight of the user, type of terrain the scooter is driven on and speed also affect how far the battery lasts.
Mobility scooters battery lifespan
A mobility scooter’s battery doesn’t last forever; no battery does.
The battery comes with a specific number of charge/discharge cycles after which it stops holding a useful amount of charge and you have to buy a new battery pack.
On average, batteries on mobility scooters last between 2 and 3 years with proper care. Exactly how long your scooter’s battery lasts depends on a number of factors.
1. Type of battery
There are three types of batteries used in mobility scooters: lead acid or wet cell batteries, AGM or sealed lead acid batteries and gel cell batteries.
The first two are both lead acid batteries with the main difference being that one type is unsealed while the other is sealed.
These batteries are cheaper but don’t last as long as gel cell batteries. They are a good affordable option for someone who is planning to use the mobility user occasionally.
Gel cell batteries on the other hand are more expensive but last longer. They are ideal for frequent mobility scooter users since the battery can withstand more charge/discharge cycles.
2. Frequency of use
The more you use your mobility scooter, the more you’ll need to recharge it which means your battery will have a shorter lifespan.
For someone using a mobility scooter daily, it might last just 1-2 years. For someone using it just a couple of days per week, the battery can last as long as 3 years.
So if you travel more with your mobility scooter, get ready to replace the battery sooner.
3. Environment and terrain
Batteries last longer when used in moderate temperature conditions and stored in a cool dry place. Too much heat or cold will reduce its lifespan.
The terrain you ride on also determines your battery’s lifespan. If you ride mostly on smooth surfaces like pavement, your battery will last longer. If you ride on rougher paths or around hilly areas, the added strain on the motor will reduce battery life.
If you want your battery to stay in good shape for a long period, take good care of it. Make sure you follow the best charging practices recommended by the manufacturer.
Here are some charging tips that will lengthen your battery’s lifespan.
- Fully charge the battery when you receive your new mobility scooter.
- After using the scooter, plug it in to top up the battery. It’s usually best to leave the mobility scooter plugged in overnight to make sure it fully charges. Do not disconnect the battery before it’s full.
- If you’ll not be using the scooter for a long time, fully charge the battery then store it in a cool dry place. Top up the battery once a week.
- Never let your battery go completely flat. This will reduce its charging capacity over time.
- Only use a manufacturer-approved charger.
When should I replace my mobility scooter mattery?
When you notice that it is discharging quicker than usual or when your mobility scooter keeps cutting out. You’ll notice that it travels for a shorter distance before the battery dies.
While before you could travel on the scooter for 15 miles, maybe now the battery gets low before you even hit 10 miles.
If you notice these changes, consider getting a new battery especially you’ve had the current one for 2-3 years.
Damage and leakage on the battery are also signs that it’s time to get a new one.
Replace the battery with the right one approved by the manufacturer.