Which Battery Should I Use for My Lightweight Mobility Scooter?
Okay, so you've chosen a lightweight mobility scooter and you're now faced with the decision of which battery to choose? You've spoken to someone who says they've got a battery which provides better performance, or you just want to see if there's a new-fangled battery on the market better suited to your needs.
Well, sit back and relax. Below is some information on the four main types of battery which can be used in your lightweight mobility scooter.
The first one to mention, and probably the most common is the Sealed Lead Acid Battery (otherwise known as the SLA). The SLA battery has been around for many years in fact, it was first invented in 1859 by Gaston Plante so has been tried and tested for over 140 years.
The SLA battery is also the least expensive and most widely available. It is ideal for use in mobility scooters due to its robust qualities. However, it can be counterproductive on lightweight mobility scooters because it is quite heavy.
That said, if you're not too bothered about packing the scooter away on a regular basis and just want it for everyday use, then the SLA is an excellent, cost-effective choice.
Gel Cell Battery
Originally developed in the 1930s, a modern Gel Cell battery isn't too far removed from the SLA/VLRA type. Essentially, the main difference is that it has a gelified electrolyte.
It is sealed, non-spillable and has a good performance. Obviously, the prices will vary but the GEL battery will sit somewhere in between the SLA and the Lithium Ion in cost.
Absorbed Glass Mat Battery (AGM)
The AGM battery is a new technology in relation to what's been discussed so far and has been available since the 1970s.
It differs in its technology because the electrolyte is contained in the absorbent glass mats between the plates; rather than a gelled or liquid electrolyte.
The great thing about this is that the battery won't leak, even if it's broken. It also has a low self-discharge which means that it can sit in storage for much longer periods of time.
Lithium Ion Battery
The Lithium Ion Battery (Li-ion) was first made available for commercial use in 1991, so is still looked upon as the-new-kid-on-the-block. Despite this, it has certainly changed the market, and it is used in most modern technology, including pacemakers, mobile phones, and computers.
These batteries are great for mobility scooters because they are lightweight. This makes it easier to lift the battery when travelling with your lightweight mobility scooter.
Because Li-ion batteries have a high-energy density rate and are highly reactive they will store more energy per weight ratio than other batteries. Although Li-ion batteries do need to be handled with care, they are made safe when packaged in a hard case.
Overall, there is no quick and easy solution or one battery that will suit all. You'll have to ask yourself a few important questions, like how much money are you willing to spend on one?
Although the Lithium Ion, SLA, GEL and AGM batteries can all be used for air travel (in all cases you must check with your chosen airline first), the weight will certainly be an important factor - depending on the way you use the mobility scooter.
Perhaps you only use your mobility scooter in-and-around your local area? If that's the case and the only time you'll be removing the battery is for charging meaning weight isn't an issue then an SLA would be perfect. It's also important to be aware that not all mobility scooters can be fitted with all types of battery, so if you want a scooter which runs on a certain battery type, then always do your research first.
We hope that if you started this post saying, Sorry SLA what? or Lithium who? then you now have a general understanding of the 4 most common types of battery for mobility scooter users. If you do require additional information, then please contact a member of our friendly team who will be more than happy to help.