As with the standard E-Motion M25s, the wheels feature both motors and lightweight lithium ion batteries built into them. They can be propelled by pushing gently on the handrims, the built-in sensors activating the power-assist, meaning it takes far less effort to propel yourself around.
They weigh just 7.8 kg each - easy to lift - and can be fitted to most wheelchairs, from standard ones such as an Action 2NG up ultra-light active wheelchairs - including those from other manufacturers. A small, discreet and light bracket is all that is needed - fitted to the axle on each side - and there is the option of a retrofit stub axle that allows you to switch back to your existing manual wheelchairs if desired. As with regular wheels, the E-Motions have quick-release axles that allow them to be popped off for transport in the back of a car when desired.
The new DuoDrive uses the same wireless hand controller found on the revolutionary Smoov One to provide the option of easy cruise control for longer journeys without using the pushrims. Simply turn the wheel to the desired speed, and off you go. The DuoDrive then keeps you at that constant speed, including when ascending or descending hills. We cannot emphasise enough how much of a difference this makes - saving you the effort when going uphill, and also giving you peace of mind when going downhill that your wheelchair won't accelerate off with you.
As the name suggests, the DuoDrive allows you to use either the conventional drive mode via pushing on the handrims, or the DuoDrive cruise control - the best of both.
The DuoDrive offers the same level of performance as the regular E-Motions, including a lengthy range of at least 15.5 miles, and a standard top speed of 4 mph, a brisk walking pace. A six hour charge refills both wheels' batteries ready to go again, while the DuoDrive controller just needs an occasional top-up.
The high-torque motors master slopes without issue, and can comfortably overcome obstacles such as kerbs and thresholds. With a weight capacity of 150 kg - plus a further 40 kg for your wheelchair (most weigh far, far less) - they are safe for heavier users too.
An app is available for both Android and iOS that allows you to set driving profiles, and see data on the performance of your E-Motion wheels. Helpfully, this app includes flight safety certificates, so you are never left short at the airport, and has a battery discharge function to help you fly safely.
Via the app, you can purchase the optional Mobility Plus Package upgrade. Amongst the upgrades it includes are:
Speed - increase your max speed to 5.3 mph to get around even faster.
Remote - control your unoccupied wheelchair via your smartphone for parking (or just showing off!).
EasyNavi - navigate with wheelchair accessible routes.
The E-Motion M25s are available in three wheel sizes - 22, 24 and 25 inches, and can be fitted with a choice of four handrims (including ergonomic CarboLife ones and their Quadro rims that are Tetra-Gripp coated), and four tyre types (from solid to pneumatic; most go for puncture-resistant Marathon Plus tyres). Other accessories include spoke covers and Invacare's unique anti-tippers with jacks that make it much easier to remove and remount the wheels, and which auto swivel over kerbs and thresholds.
Going about your everyday life requires considerably more physical effort for manual wheelchair users, and this can become unsustainable whether due to progressing age or illness, or just wear and tear on the joints. E-Motion wheels keep you active and expand your mobility whilst protecting against overworking your body. They are particularly suited to people with limited arm strength who might struggle to propel long distances, or poor hand function that makes gripping handrims tricky. You can move, steer and brake your wheelchair with very little effort, while each wheel features individually adjustable sensors that can accommodate those with different levels of strength or imbalances between left and right sides. The DuoDrives in particular help those who might struggle to propel even power assisted wheels for longer distances.
Alber's E-Motions have long set the standard for powered add-ons, backed up by quality German engineering - all drive components are developed and manufactured at Alber's German HQ, and 80% of primary components are sourced from Germany too.
The DuoDrives make it much easier to take your wheelchair on longer journeys, and feel so much safer when used on hills. We suggest trying the E-Motion DuoDrive alongside the Empulse WheelDrive - a similar concept that has a second handrim on each wheel to control the continuous drive function.
We have experienced some reliability issues with the connection between the hand control unit and the wheels on the E-Motion DuoDrives, and would therefore currently recommend considering the standard E-Motions instead or WheelDrives if you want the benefit of cruise control.