The battery range is one of the most important features of a mobility scooter. Sometimes, it decides the perimeter of an entire commute. So, while you want to check your needs before you get one, it is natural to want to increase the range after buying the scooter.
To increase the range you can ride the scooter in optimal mode and make sure no extra electronics are running while you’re on the road. Clean your scooter to avoid dust and debris in the wheels. If you can help it, reduce the weight on the scooter. You can also get the tire pressure right by inflating them a bit.
The thing to know about electric scooters is that you need to train the battery a little to get the best of it. You would think that charging the battery to the maximum does the trick. But it actually takes four or five charging cycles for these batteries to reach their full capacity.
Now, typically, these mobility scooter batteries need to be charged for about eight hours. But here’s a little trick you might not have known. If you are going to use the scooter every day, you must charge it once every day.
And if you use it once every two days, charge it once every two days. So, the charge cycle varies depending on the usage. In fact, it is a direct correlation. That’s how you make the most of it. If you didn’t know it already, a charge cycle is the time it takes for a battery to go from full capacity to zero and back to full after it has been charged.
Now, let’s see how to push the boundaries and increase its range.
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Can You Upgrade Mobility Scooter Batteries For Greater Range?
Well, that’s a good question because you will realize soon after getting a mobility scooter that you want more than what the standard battery offers. This is also true if you have been using the mobility scooter for a while and have replaced the battery a few times. Another scenario is when your current battery is just not giving you the range you need.
Either way, the answer to your question is yes. You can indeed upgrade the batteries of your mobility scooter to increase the range. But before you do that, you need to know a few things about your scooter, like how far can a mobility scooter go.
You must start by finding out about its power requirements. This means you must make yourself aware of the minimum requirements of your scooter’s brand. That involves learning about the voltage and current amp-hour rating for the battery you are using right now.
You must also know how many batteries your scooter requires. Some models are good with two batteries and some need four. Whatever the number, make sure that the replacement has a higher amp-hour rating. Get a technician to help you if you are unsure.
You also want a battery with more capacity, right? So, look into the types of batteries in the market. So, right now if your scooter is using lead-acid batteries, you might want to level up to a lithium battery.
A modern sealed VRLA battery is also a good upgrade. Both these batteries charge faster, they are lighter and don’t take as much space. In fact, they might even help with the speed of the scooter and they are easier to maintain when compared to lead-acid batteries. Plus, they have a longer life span.
How Many Hours Does a Mobility Scooter Battery Last?
There are a couple of ways to look at this aspect. We can look at the life expectancy of the battery and also the distance the scooter travels along with speed. If you are using the scooter every day, your battery is likely to work well for 1.5-2 years. If you don’t but are thorough with the maintenance, it can last for up to three years.
As mentioned before, you should also keep an eye on how long and how often you use and charge the scooter. In any case, don’t charge them for more than 12 hours to avoid overcharging. Some newer models, however, come with smart chargers that stop automatically when they hit 100 percent. You might want to check if yours falls in that category.
If you are using lead-acid batteries, you will notice that there are two types in the market. GEL batteries have more life cycles and last longer. If you want to use your scooter every day, this is a good option. Then there are AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries which have fewer cycles and are good for those who use the scooter occasionally. But they are cheaper than GEL batteries and are value for money.
How you store your scooter also plays an important role in the lifespan of its batteries. When you are not using it, the scooter must be plugged into the charger away from extreme temperatures.
As you would imagine, bad weather is not good for your battery because it causes wear and tear. So, in hot summers and really cold winters, you want to keep the scooter secure. If there is a lot of humidity, corrosion is highly possible. But make sure there is enough ventilation when it is being charged. Otherwise, it gets hot while it is charging.
If you do everything right, you can expect most scooters to go about 10-25 miles on one charge. If you want to go further away than that, you need a bigger motor and that needs powerful batteries which make the scooter last longer. But you must also take the condition of the road, weather, weight and a few other things into consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Increase the Speed Of a Mobility Scooter?
Yes you can. Your battery capacity can actually help increase the speed of your mobility scooter. You can also rewind the coil which will increase the speed of the motor.
But, get the help of a technician before you get started on this. Some models also come with something called a speed limiter. You can try finding it and switching it off. Though, this is also a slightly complex process and it is recommended that you get a professional to do it. Otherwise, you risk damaging the scooter’s motor. Also remember that if you do this on your own, you nullify the warranty.
Can You Overcharge a Mobility Scooter Battery?
Yes, overcharging can be a real problem. As mentioned above, every scooter comes with its own requirements. You should charge it as often as you use it. And typically, these mobility scooters must be charged for eight hours at a time. Even if you go slightly beyond that, make sure it is never over 12 hours at a time. That is of course you have one of them smart chargers which disconnects on its own once the scooter reaches its full capacity.
What Is the Best Battery for a Mobility Scooter?
All mobility scooters come with 12-volt batteries. They come in pairs which makes them 24 volts. Typically, the scooter will run on two or four batteries. The first thing to check is the physical size of the battery.
Then you must check the battery amp hour and then you will know if you want a GEL battery or an AGM battery both of which are sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries. These are easy to maintain and are non-spillable. Based on the performance you want, you will be able to make the division.