Battery care is a vital aspect of looking after your scooter or powerchair, but despite this there are a lot of misconceptions about how best to go about this. It`s easy to come across bad advice such as "only charge batteries when they`re fully empty" and "be careful not to overcharge them" – unfortunately, both of those are entirely wrong. The best advice is simple: charge your batteries overnight and every night.
A full charge cycle takes at least 8 hours – during the final stage of this, the batteries will trickle-charge and there is no need to worry about overcharging. Charge cycles of less than 8 hours will damage the batteries, and should be avoided. You should never drain your batteries entirely, and they should not be left in a low state of charge for extended periods. If you`ve made use of your scooter or powerchair, you should charge it that night. If you`re not going to be using your scooter or powerchair for an extended period of time, make sure to store the batteries fully charged. You should recharge them at least once a month.
If they are being stored for longer than two weeks, ensure that the batteries are disconnected while stored (instructions for disconnecting batteries can be found in the user manual). Ideally batteries should not be stored outdoors in cold temperatures, as this will reduce their life expectancy. Modern AGM and Gel batteries are fully sealed and safe to charge indoors.
The capacity of batteries can vary over their lifetime – many have a break-in period before they reach optimum capacity. If well cared for, batteries can last a long time – for infrequent users this can be several years, while those that drive for extended periods on a daily basis may find they need their batteries replaced every year.
If you require further advice on looking after the batteries on your Wheelfreedom scooter or powered wheelchair, please feel free to call our customer service team on 0800 025 8005.