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Maximising Performance & Lifespan of Mobility Batteries

No vehicle performs as well as it could do without an efficient and well maintained fuel system. Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are no exception. Batteries that are fitted to electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters act as their fuel tanks and just like a car you need to make sure they are charged and well maintained to make the most out of them and to enjoy the freedom that this equipment offers. Check some of our FAQ’s we receive and answer everyday about increasing the life span and performance of your batteries:

Q. When should I charge mobility vehicle batteries to get the most out of them?

First you need to find out if your scooter has gel or sealed lead acid batteries (check with the company you bought the equipment from or check yourself if you know what you are doing!).

FOR GEL BATTERIES

WHEN NEW:

  • Fully charge them when they are new.
  • After that recharge them whenever the battery gauge shows a low charge. Be careful not to get stranded with flat batteries and make sure you have a backup plan if you do!
  • If you leave the batteries for more than a week recharge them.

Haze-Gel-Batteries

AFTER AROUND 20 CHARGES:

  • Charge them when you have finished with the vehicle for the day
  • Once, say every two months, let the batteries discharge as you did when they were new before recharging them.
  • Never allow batteries to run completely flat.

Slightly confusing for gel batteries, but they do last much longer than sealed lead-acid batteries if you follow these rules.

FOR SEALED LEAD-ACID BATTERIES

  • Fully charge them when you first get the electric mobility vehicle.
  • Recharge the batteries when you have finished with them for the day, regardless of how charged the batteries are, or if you are unable to do this charge them once a week.
  • Every two months, let the batteries discharge until the battery gauge shows a low charge.
  • Try to prevent the batteries from ever running completely flat.

Q. What’s the best way to charge my batteries?

A. WHATEVER TYPE OF BATTERIES YOU HAVE

  • Only use the charger that is supplied with the vehicle.
  • When you put your scooter or wheelchair on charge, leave it until it has been fully charged and the light shows green. Sometimes this can take 12 hours or more so we recommend charging over night.
  • After fully charging the mobility scooter or wheelchair leave it plugged in and turned on until you use it again, this ensures the batteries stay topped up and will last as long as possible when you come to use it. If it’s going to be a while before you use it again then just unplug and charge it again in about a weeks time.
  • If you aren’t charging then unplug the charger! Some chargers will allow drain the batteries quite quickly if you do this.

Haze Sealed Lead Battery

Q. When should I replace my batteries?

  • This depends on many factors, we have seen batteries last 12 months and some for over 3 years. Commonly, they will still be going strong after two or more years (especially if you follow this guide!) The longer you’ve had the batteries and the longer they have been in use the more their capacity reduces, when you find that the battery gauge on your vehicle shows a low state of charge after your day’s use it’s probably time to look at getting some new ones.

Q. What are the factors that can affect range on powered mobility equipment?

  • Weight of the vehicle or user
  • Ambient temperature
  • State of battery charge
  • Tyre pressure
  • Terrain

Some other things to note:

  • Majority of gel and sealed batteries can be transported by aeroplane. Ask for an  IATA Certificate from your supplier to prove this but most airlines should know this. Alternatively, the battery may be marked on top with a sticker explaining it is IATA approved.
  • If you are storing your vehicle for a long period, disconnect the batteries from the scooter/wheelchair. This allows the batteries to drain their charge naturally.
  • It’s not expected that you follow this guide to the letter all the time, you can bend the rules of when and how to charge your batteries occasionally without reducing the life of your batteries. So don’t be afraid of giving them a short charge before you go out, just don’t do it too often!
  • These batteries will not spill if overturned and need no maintenance.
  • You cannot harm your vehicle by charging its batteries wrongly. You will only reduce the life of the batteries.
  • The cost of fully charging batteries is minimal, only pence. The cost of leaving them connected long-term is even lower.
  • Connecting your own lights or other items to your batteries may well ruin them, especially if they are 12 volt.
  • You should charge gel batteries differently from sealed lead-acid because they are not at full capacity when new, they only give around 60%. It takes around 20 full discharges for them to reach 100%. If you do not follow the charging rules, you will not get the full capacity and the life of the batteries will shorten. If you follow these rules gel batteries will last significantly longer than sealed lead-acid batteries.
  • Always dispose of batteries through an approved source (like us!) Check your dealer is BHTA accredited and they will do this when supplying new ones.
  • You must not use a car-type charger for these batteries: it would permanently damage them. The charger supplied with the vehicle is designed for the purpose.
  • The reason for letting batteries run low every two months is that it is often found that this can “rejuvenate” them for a while. Not everybody recognises this, but there is certainly nothing to lose by doing so.
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  • Great communication. Very pleased with wheelchair. Thanks very much.
    Joanna D
  • Excellent service. Well informed staff came to demonstrate a standing chair, nothing was too much trouble and all my questions were answered. On delivery, customer service was brilliant, equipment was assembled and my home left clean and tidy. I would highly recommend this company.
    Ali A
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    Rob W
  • thanks for sending them to me they were both very useful and has now made spoon feeding alot easier so thanks again
    marie g
  • Product came sooner than expected
    Audrey L
  • I purchased a Quest foldable mobility scooter - very pleased with the scooter and the service. I ordered it on a Friday and it was delivered on Monday. I would recommend to anyone - especially as I saved some money.
    Alison C
  • The item ordered is ideal for my Mums requirements and the delivery was excellent
    toni d
  • very useful aid to carry for my meals
    Jill B
  • Had a fantastic service from Steve Perry who was able to provide Minor Illness & Injuries Unit in Peterborough with some urgent crutches. Will use again. Thank you.
    Sara P
  • Couldn't have been more helpful on the telephone and delivery was first rate. Will definitely use again.
    Patricia C
  • Great service and very helpful when I couldn't locate something on the site. Very happy with wheelchair we purchased and the price was great too.
    Catherine R
  • Very impressed with the transit chair I bought. Very high quality, well designed and turns on a sixpence! Would recommend to anyone considering purchase.
    Hazel H
  • What fantastic customer service i received from this company..Easy straight forward transaction,extremely helpful and attentive staff..Thanks to Steve for your patience when i changed my mind re colour of pushchair three times..The Cappuccino Mewa is brilliant..Just what we have been looking for...
    Kate f
  • Ordering on line was easy, and the product was delivered within 2 working days, excellent service all round, cannot fault it at all.
    jacqueline b
  • First class service items lived up to expectations
    Susan m
  • Ordered a folding shower seat with 2 grab bars in the morning and these were delivered to me in the afternoon of the same day - that is what I call service. However the following day a further 2 Grab Bars were delivered and the co said that they would collect these the same day - still waiting after 1 week and another call - not so good and still waiting. A point that the co should consider is that we are finding it difficult to get someone to fit the shower seat and they are unable to provide any guidance or help. would suggest that they collect names and telephone numbers of local tradesmen who are trusted to fit their mobility equipment and provide guidance on fitting
    Edward B
  • Needed some crutches but not sure about measurements. Staff were helpful and knowledgeable on the phone. The price was very good, they arrived quickly and I am very pleased with them.
    Ann B
  • Called into the shop for a shower chair for an elderly relative. The staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They didn't have the one I needed so I was offered the option of ordering in store or online. I ordered on line and the chair was delivered 2 days later. Fabulous service.I would recommend the Mobility Aids Centre. Thank you!
    Tracey K
  • Fantastic service, I order a Bathmaster Deltis bath chair lift on the 18/08/2015 and using the standard delivery system it was delivered to my house the following day. The chair works very well, it comes packed in the manufactures original box, battery ready charged for instantaneous use and at a very competitive price. Very good performance all round.
    Richard C
  • I was looking for a buggy for adults and the one I purchased named Troy. was excellent, I can put it up & down in seconds. The wheels are superbly easy to turn with. My husband says it is very comfortable and the black leather with red piping is very smart. When folded up there is a padded grip in the middle of the frame, which is perfectly balanced to lift it in and out of cars etc. a wonderfully strong but light wheelchair.
    Sandra S