Lightweight and smartly designed, the E-Motions feature both motors and lithium ion batteries built into each wheel. Weighing just 7.8 kg each, they can be fitted to most wheelchairs - including less "active" ones such as Invacare's Action range. All that is required is the addition of a small, discreet bracket on each side - and it is even possible to have a retrofit stub axle that lets you switch between your existing manual wheels. Quick-release axles ensure the E-Motions keep your wheelchair transportable, popping off to fit into the back of a car alongside your wheelchair.
A long range of at least 15.5 miles (Alber stopped testing at that point, and there was still battery left!) ensures your E-Motions will go the distance, and the standard speed is a brisk walking pace of 4 mph. They have the torque to master slopes with ease, and can get you over obstacles such as kerbs and thresholds too. The weight capacity is 150 kg, with a further 40 kg capacity for your wheelchair - more than enough to comfortably cover you and your chair. An automatic battery charger will fill up both batteries simultaneously, taking just six hours to reach full charge.
Integrated bluetooth modules in the wheels allow them to connect with the optional remote control, which lets you switch between two speed functions, and also turn on rollback delay for assistance up hills. However, most people will opt for the free smartphone Mobility App, available for iOS and Android, with even more driving profiles, information on your E-Motions such as speed, mileage and charge level, plus the option for recording and saving tours via GPS. The app also includes your flight safety certificates, and has an auto-battery discharge function to help you fly safely and conveniently. The Mobility Plus Package is an optional upgrade to the app, and one we highly recommend. Amongst the many features it unlocks are the following highlights:
Speed - increase your max speed to 5.3 mph to zip along even faster.
Remote - control your unoccupied wheelchair via your smartphone for parking (or just showing off!).
Cruise - ideal for longer rides, it can maintain your speed without further pushes.
EasyNavi - navigate with wheelchair accessible routes.
Available in three wheel sizes - 22, 24 and 25 inches, the E-Motion M25 wheels can come with your choice from four handrims (including ergonomic CarboLife ones and their Quadro rims that are Tetra-Gripp coated), and four tyre types (from solid to pneumatic, and with the option for the popular Marathon Plus tyres). 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 wheelchair users, and this can become unsustainable whether due to progressing age or illness, or just wear and tear on the joints. The E-Motions keep you active and expand your mobility whilst protecting your body from overwork. 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 individually adjustable sensors accommodate those with different levels of strength or imbalances between left and right sides.
While others have tried to imitate the E-Motions in the past, they have dropped to the wayside due to function or reliability issues, such as with the now discontinued WheelDrive. The E-Motions have 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 E-Motion wheels have largely supplanted Alber's Twion powered wheels, which don't have the same levels of adjustability - we would therefore always recommend the more modern E-Motion M25s instead, particularly in conjunction with the Mobility Plus Package on the app. With the launch of the new E-Motion DuoDrive, we would recommend trying them - for a small additional cost, you get cruise control and speed control on slopes.
We now usually demonstrate the E-Motions alongside the SMOOV one - that is designed for those with good hand function, and we find that if one doesn't suit, the other will. If you are struggling with propelling, but want to stay physically active in a manual chair rather than a powerchair, the E-Motion power wheels or SMOOV one will solve your problems.