How long should an electric wheelchair/scooter battery last?

There is a lot to consider when talking about the life span of a wheelchair/ scooter battery. On average, a new battery should last at least six months, but can last a year or longer if properly maintained.

To get the most out of your wheelchair/scooter battery, it should be charged daily. This will extend the life of your battery by almost double. For example, if you discharged the battery by 50%, then charged it that day rather than discharging the battery to 75% and charging it several days later, you doubled its life span.

If you are using a deep cycle battery in your wheelchair/ scooter, keep in mind that it is not good to completely discharge the battery. Try not to push your battery and fully discharge it, otherwise it is destructive to the battery and makes it hard for it to maintain itself.

When charging your battery, use a proper charger and allow it to go through all its stages, there are typically three stages. Plugging it in periodically without allowing the charger to go through all its stages and durations will lead to a very short battery life. A battery typically needs 8 – 12 hours to charge, but can vary based on the age of the battery, battery charger and chemistry of the battery. To be safe, only use a battery charger specified by the wheelchair manufacturer.

Temperature can affect the life of deep cycle batteries. The standard/ ideal operating temperature of a deep cycle battery is at a room temperature of 77° F. Battery capacity decreases in lower temperatures. Varying temperatures during recharging also affect the efficiency of a charge. Storing at room temperature or lower is very important.

When storing batteries or the wheelchair/ scooter with batteries, it is recommended they be stored at a cool dry temperature, but not below 32° F, with charging every week to two weeks. This should allow the batteries to stay fully charged. Remember we don’t want the batteries to reach a high level of discharge.

If the battery were to sit with no charging, then sulfate would begin to build up on the lead plates in the battery, eventually leading to a failure of the battery to maintain itself and charge. Extreme heat is also not good. Extreme heat can lead to deterioration of the interior lead plates of the battery.

When the wheelchair/ scooter starts to show quick loss of power or decreased range, then it is time to change your battery. Other signs that it is time to change your battery, may include leaking of the battery, damage or deterioration of the battery.

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