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How long do mobility scooter batteries last?

Mobility scooter batteries

How long do mobility scooter batteries last is a common question both in store and online. But before you ask the question, read on, because we’ll try and answer all the queries you may have.

The answer, like most answers, is not that straightforward and relies on a number of things. In this blog we’ll focus on some of the main issues with mobility scooter batteries and provide tips and guidance about how to maximise their output and lifespan.

Battery types

There are typically two different types of mobility scooter batteries, GEL and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat). Both types are Lead Acid batteries. These two types of batteries each have their own strengths and weaknesses. The producer of a scooter model usually chooses the best match of battery type for the model he has designed, depending on which advantages he wants to offer.

  • GEL – Produces more cycles and therefore can last a lot longer, so it’s recommended for regular, daily users. This battery is considered to be the ultimate mobility scooter battery with unrivalled performance, but performance usually comes with a price.
  • AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) – Produces fewer cycles and is therefore recommended for occasional users. However, they are also a lot cheaper therefore represent excellent value for money with good performance.

All mobility scooter batteries are 12 Volts and are usually fitted in series circuit, providing 24 Volts. Hence, when charging your scooter,  you automatically charge the complete pair.

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Charging

The charging of your mobility scooter batteries is an often-contentious subject with varying opinions about how and when to charge in order to maximise the battery’s performance and lifespan.

To make things clear and simple, we recommend you follow these four pieces of advice:

  • Charge after each trip as well as overnight.
  • Never allow the batteries to be fully discharged. Don’t drive when only red LEDs are lit on the battery gauge of your cockpit. You would deep discharge your batteries, and this decreases life span and capacity of the batteries dramatically.
  • In cases where the scooter is not regularly used, it must be charged once per month as a minimum.
  • Alternatively, the batteries can be left connected. It will not overcharge if you are using the original and dedicated charger which comes with your scooter.

Additionally, you can watch our short informational video with extra tips:

Storage

The way you charge your mobility scooter batteries is not the only way you can get the most out of it in the way of performance and lifespan. Almost as important is the correct way, and place, to store the mobility scooter, along with its batteries.

  • Try storing your mobility scooter in a cool and dry place. Overheating and extreme cold can reduce effectiveness, output, longevity and delay recharging process.
  • Always store your mobility scooter fully charged when not being used.

Warranty & range

Although most manufacturers generally offer a 12-month warranty on batteries, mobility scooter batteries should deliver an average lifespan of up to 18 months depending on usage. In a ‘light’ mobility application, such as using your scooter once or twice a week, the battery can deliver up to three years lifespan. In a ‘heavier’ application, however, such as using your scooter daily on long journeys, the lifespan could be between 12 and 18 months.

If charged and stored correctly, as per instructions rendered above, the mobility scooter batteries, depending on type and capacity (size), can provide anywhere from 20 to 45 kilometres of travel per charge. It is, of course, essential that you check this with the manufacturer, as this will be individual to the specific mobility scooter.

Worth noting here is that the range is dependent on a number of factors, and the way you drive is one of them – for example, bursts of acceleration will drain the batteries quicker. Size and weight of load, including driver and luggage/shopping are also a factor, as is the terrain of the environment where you will be driving the scooter – uneven ground and driving at an incline will wear the batteries quicker. It is recommended to test the limits of the batteries and to not take long journeys until you have familiarized yourself with the capacity of your scooter and are confident that the batteries’ power will get you where you want to go and back.

Orion & Comet

When speaking about range, the Orion and Comet families of Invacare mobility scooters offer an unparalleled battery performance. Across the gamut of available scooter models, assuming you keep your mobility scooter batteries at peak performance by following our instructions, Orion & Comet scooters’ maximum driving distance spans between 49 to 60 kilometres per charge, depending on the scooter model of your choice. For additional information, style and performance options, head to Invacare scooter website.

 

Author:  A.  Ferry

 

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