Considering you rely on your wheels to get around, the last thing you want is for the mobility scooter battery to let you down. So, it’s not surprising that you’ve come searching for answers to the question: how long do mobility scooter batteries last?
Although the answer’s complicated because of various factors, this article aims to give you as much info as possible. We wouldn’t want you to be stuck away from home due to a dead mobility scooter battery!
Factors that affect a mobility scooter battery
At the top of the list of things that affect a mobility scooter’s battery life is the type of battery. The style and size of your mobility scooter are two big determinants of the battery type it fits. While these might have slight differences in the way they work, how you need to care for them will generally be the same.
Aside from what type you have, other factors that affect how long a battery lasts include:
- How frequently you use your scooter
- Your weight and the weight of the actual scooter
- Whether you store your battery at the correct temperature
- The way you charge your battery
- The condition of the roads or surfaces you drive your scooter on
- The speed at which you accelerate and brake
Different types of mobility scooter batteries
Regardless of type, batteries all have one big thing in common – they determine how far you can travel in between charging them. There are three main types of mobility scooter battery, with performance and longevity the main difference between them:
- Gel batteries are the most common type used in mobility scooters because they’re cheaper than their lithium-ion colleagues, hold their charge for longer and endure more charge cycles. This means they’re just as suitable for daily or very regular users as they are for frequent users.
- Lithium-ion batteries are lighter and smaller than gel ones, with their compact size and design making them perfect for portable mobility scooters. They charge faster, are said to produce a more even, consistent speed than the others and have a longer lifespan overall. This type is the most expensive but many say it’s worth it.
- Lead batteries are cheapest, though are designed for light/occasional use. They do tolerate high temperatures better than gel and lithium-ion but have a less impressive charge cycle and only have a life of 12-18 months.
Be sure about the type of mobility scooter battery you have as using the wrong charger can damage it. That’s why you shouldn’t switch gel and lithium batteries – they have different charging systems.
Obviously it’s also important to get the right sized battery for your mobility scooter when replacing it. Your scooter can only take a specific size.
How long do mobility scooter batteries last on one charge?
As mentioned above the battery life on a mobility scooter depends on the type, how often the scooter is used, how long it’s used for each time and the surface it’s being used on.
However, a standard battery can last for about 25km on a single charge. This is if the scooter is a mid-sized one and is being used on normal road or path surfaces. You can travel for up to 45km with a larger and more powerful battery.
The lifespan of a battery
As a general guideline if you’re using your scooter occasionally, your battery may last up to three years. If you’re using your scooter much more frequently then you may only get a lifespan of 12-18 months. For some, it’s only six months.
Remember this is all a general estimation. Your scooter type, battery type, lifestyle and the conditions you’re using your scooter under will affect your battery’s lifespan, just as they affect how long it lasts with each charge.
You’ll know it’s time to replace your mobility scooter battery when it starts showing signs of lagging. By this we mean when it doesn’t hold its charge as well anymore. You might be noticing things like you can’t drive as far as you used to, your scooter starts cutting out or stopping, the battery never fully charges, etc.
Tips to increase your battery’s life and performance
Being able to hop on your mobility scooter to run errands or visit friends makes life more convenient. Don’t let a dead battery leave you stranded or result in you missing an important date.
Charging a mobility scooter battery the right way can also extend its lifespan. How often you need to charge your battery depends on its type, size and your usage, so it may be worthwhile checking with the company you bought it or your scooter from. In general make sure to charge it regularly so it’s always fully charged.
Here are some tips to make sure your battery is always ready to go:
- If your battery is brand new you’ll need to ‘break it in’. Charge the battery after every use for the first 15 to 20 times as this will help it perform better. After this period you can let the battery run down to past halfway before putting it on charge.
- Forgetting to charge the battery a few times is okay, but it’ll last longer if you don’t let it run completely flat.
- Use the dedicated charger that comes with your scooter.
- Consider charging your battery overnight especially if you’ll use it for a long trip the next day. If that trip involves car travel with your scooter on board, read our article about taking a road trip with mobility equipment.
- Research charging points along your route if you’re worried a single charge may not get you to your destination. (Also read our article on road rules for mobility scooters). The RECHARGE Scheme, which gives wheelchair and drivers of mobility scooters access to public charging stations, is available in most states.
Storing a mobility scooter battery
If you’re going away on holiday or won’t be using your scooter for a while, storing the battery properly is another way to extend its lifespan. The mobility scooter compartment is the best home for it. Another thing that affects how long mobility scooter batteries last is whether they’re kept it in a cool and dry place. Extreme heat and humidity are no good for them.
It’s also important not to forget about it sitting there. Charge it every few weeks until you’re ready to use your scooter again.
Regularly servicing your scooter is another great way to keep the battery in tip-top shape. Regular maintenance also helps ensure your safety on it. If your mobility scooter is in good condition a service once a year should do the trick.
Now you’ve learned all that, you may want to read a couple of articles that provide:
Mobility scooter insurance for the speed bumps
It’s no secret life’s filled with speed bumps that are sometimes unavoidable. Preparing for these mishaps will help you come out on top. Getting mobility scooter insurance from Blue Badge Insurance can assist.
Our cover includes new for old replacement for scooters up to a certain age, protection if you damage someone else’s property while driving, and cover if you take your scooter overseas with you. Why not get a quick online quote?