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Battery Care

Maintaining your batteries properly is absolutely essential to getting the most out of your mobility scooter or powerchair. These batteries provide the power to keep you mobile, so taking good care of them is key to ensuring a smooth, reliable ride for years to come. We've been hiring, selling and servicing electric mobility equipment since 2007 so there's not much we don't know about batteries.

With some straightforward maintenance habits, you can maximize your battery life and avoid premature failure. So, we’ve set out the fundamentals with best practice guidelines and recommendations which should be read in conjunction with the user manual for a comprehensive picture of battery care. This should help you maximize your battery’s performance for a long-life, safety and peace of mind. And don't forget if you run into problems or have any questions our team of engineers is at the ready to help out and keep you mobile.

Battery Types

SLA Batteries

Most mobility scooters and powerchairs come with the same type of batteries - SLA (sealed lead acid). There are two main sub-types of SLA batteries:

AGM: The electrolyte is absorbed into a fibreglass mesh between the battery plates

Gel Cell: The electrolyte is mixed with silica dust to form a thick gel

AGM batteries are seen on most small to medium-sized scooters and powerchairs. They are cheaper than Gel batteries and are better suited to those making less regular use of their mobility equipment. Gel batteries are longer-lasting, and best suited to people who want to make heavy use of their powerchair or scooter. Higher capacity batteries, such as 70 Ah ones, are usually supplied as Gel ones.

Lithium-ion Batteries

Some scooters, powerchairs and powered add-ons are powered by lithium-ion batteries. These are typically lightweight, high-performance batteries that offer several key advantages over traditional lead-acid batteries. They will often provide a longer range on a single due to their higher energy density and have a longer lifespan than their SLA counterparts.

For further details see our Guide to Lithium Batteries for Powerchairs, Scooters and Powered Add-Ons

Lithium Ferro-Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries

LiFePO4 batteries are the latest innovation in safe, green and increased performance technology. Using the technology of lithium iron phosphate cell, this type of battery can be found in a small number of models currently, like the Rascal VelumiLi and Rascal Vippi mobility scooters. LiFePO4 batteries have a 100% discharge depth, meaning you can use the full battery capacity. For a mobility scooter, this means a longer range.

Free of maintenance with a wider temperature range between -20°C and 60°C, the life-span of a Lithium Ferro-Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery can extend up to 10 years and over 100 cycles.

Mobility scooters and power chairs typically use either 12V or 24V battery systems. For some powered add-ons this can rise to 36V (Sunrise Medical Empulse R20) or even 48V (Triride Mad Max)


All batteries have an ampere hour (Ah) rating, which shows their capacity. Higher-capacity batteries can power high-performance products for longer. Basic travel scooters with a maximum speed of 4 mph will often have 12 Ah batteries, while large 8 mph scooters or high-performance powerchairs will usually have 70 Ah batteries. Higher-capacity batteries are larger, heavier and more expensive. User weight and terrain also affect battery range. Heavier loads and hilly environments will drain batteries faster.


The general guideline is that batteries should last up to 2 years. However, good care can dramatically increase this life-span - please see the Charging and Storage sections below on how to achieve this. Heavy use of batteries, including frequent discharge, will reduce their life-span, whereas those who only use their scooter or powerchair occasionally, and for short journeys, will find their batteries last longer.


For new SLA batteries, it's important to give them a full 24-hour initial charge before use. This allows it to build maximum capacity from the start.  Lithium batteries typically don't require this lengthy initial charging - check the user's manual for guidelines as these can vary from one lithium battery to another.

Develop a habit of charging your batteries after each use, even for short trips. For SLA batteries, charge for 8-12 hours, never less than 8 hours even if the charger light turns green. Many user or charger manuals erroneously state that once the light turns green, the battery is charged. In fact this means the battery is still being charged but it's switched to a trickle charge, using minimal power. It's vital trickle charge cycle continues, as it conditions the battery and thus preserves longevity.

You never need to be concerned about leaving these batteries on to charge for too long. In fact, if you have your scooter or powerchair charging all the time it’s not in use, your batteries will be in great condition. If that's not possible, ensuring that they get an extra long charge from time to time, is strongly recommended.

If you only charge your batteries for short periods, the plates within the battery will suffer from sulfation, and the capacity and range will steadily reduce. To regain lost capacity due to chronic undercharging and to enhance battery life, it is recommended that a 12-hour charge be performed at least once each week.

Avoid letting any battery go fully flat before recharging, as this can degrade its lifespan. Best practice is to fully charge the battery after each trip. Both AGM and Gel batteries are safe to charge inside, and being sealed units, there’s no need to worry about hazardous fumes being given off. Most travel scooters have removable battery boxes, allowing you to charge these indoors separately from the scooter.

It’s important to only use an appropriate charger designed for mobility devices with your type of batteries, and with the correct amp rating. Non-specialist chargers can be hazardous, and using a mobility charger with the incorrect ampage may damage the battery. We offer both manufacturer branded chargers and generic ones designed for scooters and powerchairs. Here's how to ensure your battery lives a long and healthy life:

Proper Charging Guidelines

  • Fully charge your batteries before using them for the first time. Not doing so could limit the recharging capacity in the future.

  • Use the equipment manufacturer’s charger for all routine charging or an appropriate charger designed for mobility devices.

  • Never use an automotive trickle type or wet type charger on Sealed Gel or AGM batteries as doing so will damage your batteries.

  • Charge your battery for as long and as often as possible.

  • Charge your battery fully every day, even after a short trip.

  • Charging your battery overnight is fine - you cannot overcharge the battery.

  • Your battery will reach full capacity after charging 10 - 20 cycles (particularly noticeable for SLA batteries)

  • Try to allow a complete full charging cycle of 12 hours once a week.

  • For optimum results charge your batteries in conditions under 10 degrees or over 30 degrees.

  • Always charge in a well-ventilated area away from heat sources or open flames.

  • Do not leave your batteries in a discharged state for more than 24 hours.

  • Avoid ultra-deep discharges and never drain your batteries completely. This may result in your charger not being able to re-charge them. Batteries are completely different from car batteries, for example, if a scooter or powerchair is left in storage for a prolonged period the battery will run down and probably not re-charge.

Storage and Seasonal Care

All batteries are best stored indoors at room temperature. Exposure to moisture can permanently damage batteries, so store yours in a cool, dry place. While scooters and powered wheelchairs are often stored outdoors, cold and hot temperatures will damage the batteries, and reduce their life-span. It is quite common for us to get calls during the winter from people who leave their scooter outdoors, and have found the batteries have died!

If storing your mobility device long-term, charge the batteries fully first. We recommend SLA batteries are charged for 8-12 hours every 2 weeks while in storage. Lithium batteries should be fully charged monthly when in storage. 

Cold temperatures can impact battery performance. They may run down faster in the winter and travel a little slower than usual. Keep your device plugged in and fully charged when not in use during winter months.

Air Travel

Generally speaking there are no restrictions on flying with SLA batteries. Scooters and powerchairs, and more specifically, travel scooters, folding scooters and folding powerchairs equipped with SLA batteries are typically permitted on all flights but prior to travel, passengers must advise the airline of the type of batteries fitted to the mobility aid and how the device can be protected against inadvertent operation.

There are however some limitations for Lithium batteries when flying. Whilst they can either remain installed in the mobility aid or be removed by the user, if the mobility aid is specifically designed allows this following the manufacturer’s instructions, the removed battery(ies) must not exceed 300 Wh.

Where the battery(ies) is not removed, there is no limit to the Watt-hour (Wh) rating for the installed battery(ies). A passenger may carry a maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spare batteries each not exceeding 160 Wh.

In short, it's important to contact your airline to provide details of your scooter or powerchair and discuss their requirements for travel and stowage. See the UK Civil Aviation Authority website for more details.


Servicing should only be carried out by a trained mobility specialist. These tasks require specialized knowledge and skills, including inspection, charging, capacity and testing.

We have a full-service repair and maintenance centre at our Chessington HQ, staffed by our team of engineers experienced in maintaining, repairing and adapting mobility equipment. 

We also run a fleet of van-based engineers, able to come out to your address to carry out repairs. From our Chessington base, we can cover the whole of London and the South East, able to respond to your needs quickly and efficiently.

Find out more about our servicing, repair and maintenance services here.

Replacement Batteries

We source all non-lithium replacement batteries from market leader MK Battery or from manufacturers direct. MK Battery is a US-based global leader in sealed battery manufacturing and a specialist in mobility equipment batteries. 

Never mix and match different battery manufacturers, sizes, or technologies, or use batteries that do not have similar date codes. Never mix Gel batteries with AGM batteries.

Have your mobility device serviced at least annually. This service should include a comprehensive battery test to check health and identify any issues. Replacing batteries requires the scooter to be disassembled. Improper reassembly can lead to safety issues, and battery disposal must be carried out in an environmentally responsible way. A trained technician will ensure everything is put back together and the old batteries are disposed of correctly. 

Our workshop team of technicians is on hand to advise, recommend and provide replacement battery options for you.


Mobility device batteries require careful handling posing potential hazards if misused. Always refer to the owner's manual provided by the manufacturer for specific guidance on proper battery management, including safe handling procedures, storage best practices, and environmentally responsible recycling methods.

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