Mobility scooters are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to walking or driving in Ireland, but they can be difficult to buy without knowing what you’re looking for. We will be looking at speed, range & terrain the vehicle can be used on.
These mobility scooters are also known as electric scooters, motorized chairs, or powerchairs. They can be used indoors and outdoors – on sidewalks, streets, stores, offices, and airports! This blog post will go over everything you need to know before buying a mobility scooter so that you don’t end up with buyer’s remorse!
1. Battery Longevity
The majority of mobility scooters use sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries. These are the same kind of batteries that go into your motorcycle or lawnmower, and they don’t like to be fully discharged. You should expect between 4-8 hours of run time per 100% charge with average usage, which means that if you have 10 hours of battery life, you should be able to get around 40 hours of usage. If your scooter requires a 24-hour charge, expect 4 hours of run time per day. Most of these scooters are lead-acid electric vehicles. If the environment is cold, so is the battery! Cold batteries can use more power than usual, and they don’t like to be fully discharged. If they are, expect a lot of wear and tear on the battery.
2. Range Per Charge
Your range is based on the conditions you’re using your scooter in, how much you weigh, and what terrain you’re going over (uphill or downhill). A heavier person will get less range than a lighter person, and going up hills will also decrease your coverage. To find out how far you’ll be able to go on one charge, take the total weight of your mobility scooter fully loaded with gas or battery or rider divided by 375 lbs. For example, if you weigh 300lbs and have a 75lb scooter full of gas and battery, you’ll get around 1.74 miles per charge.
3. Scooter Size!
These scooters can either be sit-down or stand-up. A sit-down mobility scooter is more stable than a stand-up, and it has a wider wheelbase to keep you balanced. Having a wider wheelbase means that the scooter is more difficult to turn, which makes them more challenging for people with arthritis or loss of balance to use. Most scooters are made for up to 400lbs, but some are smaller and can only hold around 250lbs. If you weigh upwards of 200lbs, you should invest in a heavier duty scooter that can carry more weight.
4. Maximum Speed
Mobility scooters have a top speed ranging from 5-15mph, although most average around 10-12mph. When you first receive your scooter, be sure to test it out and note the manufacturer’s recommended top speed. Remember that faster speeds are more dangerous, so only go as fast as you’re comfortable with. In Ireland the maxiumum allowed speed is 8km.
5. Turning Radius
One of the things that people don’t think about is the turning radius. Mobility scooters have to be able to turn around in a normal-sized hallway, for instance. Make sure to check how tight your turning radius is before buying! If it’s too big, you’ll be unable to turn in many situations and will have to back up and try again. Scooters with a tight turning radius are almost always sit-down scooters.
6. Make Sure You Can Charge the Mobility Scooter!
Before investing in any mobility scooter, make sure that you can quickly charge it where you live. Many people forget to check this, but if your home is in an apartment complex or has no outlet near the sidewalk, you’re going to have a lot of problems. These scooters are incredibly easy to charge, but if yours can’t be charged indoors, it’s useless.
7. Price Range
The price range for this scooters is pretty vast – they cost anywhere between $400-$6000! If you’re only using the scooter occasionally, don’t spend a lot of money on features you’ll never use. If you need an everyday scooter, go for one that has all the bells and whistles. It can also be dangerous to buy too cheap of a scooter because they might not be made to carry heavier riders or are well-built – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
8. Never Lose Your Key
This is also among the most important thing to remember. Many people overlook this, but it can be dangerous if you do. Some mobility scooters operate on a radio frequency that only allows the key to turning on and off, while others require a key (just like a car). If your scooter needs a key, always make sure you can find it and that no one has seen it hidden somewhere on the scooter!
9. Ascending & Descending Slopes
They can either go uphill or downhill quickly, the only problem is going uphill with a heavy load. If your weight plus the weight of batteries, gas, and rider is over the recommended weight limit for your scooter, it will be hard for you to go up hills (especially if you’re only going about 5mph). The best thing is to get a scooter with larger tires and more power. Never buy a scooter that is too weak for you.
Now we understand that these scooters are a great tool for anyone in need of getting around. Instead of being stuck inside, they allow you to go outside and feel the sun on your face again. If you weigh up to 400lbs and you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get around but don’t want the embarrassment of using a power chair, then a motorized chair might be for you!