If you own and use a mobility scooter, at some point you will need to buy replacement batteries. Here are a few things to consider when it is time to go battery shopping.
Time to change batteries
How will you know that your mobility batteries need changing? You’ll usually notice the batteries are fading when the capacity of the scooter diminishes, and you find the batteries won’t let you travel as far as they once did on a single charge. Typically, most batteries last about 18 months to two years, depending on how often you use the scooter.
When deciding which mobility battery to buy, you can choose between a GEL or SLA type of battery. GEL types tend to last longer than SLA batteries, but both are maintenance free, sealed and non-spillable. It’s advisable not to mix these two types of batteries.
According to Which? mobility scooters operate on a 24-volt system, compromised of two 12-volt batteries that are charged together on the scooter. When replacing batteries, it is recommended that you replace both at the same time.
Purchase your replacement mobility batteries from a reputable supplier, such as http://grovesbatteries.co.uk/Mobility.aspx. Avoid mixing and matching different battery manufacturers or using batteries with date codes that aren’t similar. You can expect to pay around £100 for a pair of batteries.
Consider the power output of the battery when deciding which one to choose. You can see what this is on the side of the battery, where it is marked in amp hours (Ah). The same size battery may show different amp rates, so if power output is important to you, pay attention to this figure. Always follow installation instructions given by the manufacturer when fitting the batteries. You may find that the performance of the battery, especially if you choose GEL types, improves after it has been charged and used a number of times.
Upgrading the battery power
It may be possible to change battery sizes and replace them with a higher-capacity pack if you want your scooter to cover longer distances. In some cases, this means you can double your range. Check that your model allows this before you go battery shopping. Bear in mind that higher power batteries will, inevitably, cost more and are likely to be heavier to lift.