Many seniors and younger people with disabilities choose mobility scooters to maintain their independence. Certain health conditions can significantly limit the ability to move around freely. In these situations, a mobility scooter can greatly improve the quality of life. Before purchasing, questions about single-charge distance and speed often arise.
So how far can a mobility scooter go on a single charge?
In brief, the travel distance of a mobility scooter with a fully charged battery usually ranges from 6 miles to 20 miles. However, you can go as far as 45 miles on a single charge with certain models, such as the EW-36 mobility scooter (though there are some factors that influence the travel distance).
Don’t forget that the performance of a mobility scooter can be affected by many different factors. You can definitely improve your scooter’s battery lifespan and the distance it can travel with a fully charged battery by applying a few simple tips (check them out below).
Now, let’s see the details.
Factors That Affect Mobility Scooter Travel Distance
The range within your scooter will operate on a single charge can vary greatly depending on various factors.
Tire pressure. Before going on a trip, always check tire pressure. Under-inflated tires negatively impact both travel distance and speed. Extremely low tire pressure can cause permanent damage to the wheels.
Payload. The more weight your scooter has to carry, the sooner the battery discharges. Most scooters have a maximum load capacity of around 220 lbs. Of course, there are some models that can easily carry as much as 400-450 lbs but this is more like an exception. Yet, the published performance usually can be achieved by carrying around 165 lbs. This is the weight of an average, non-obese adult.
Weather. Upwind increases air resistance and makes your scooter go slower while consuming more energy.
Hot weather also negatively impacts the travel distance by speeding up battery discharge. This also applies to storage. Recommended operating temperature range is usually between 65°F and 85°F.
Going uphill. I think it’s common knowledge and easy to understand that riding uphill has a negative impact on scooter range. The steeper the road the shorter the distance you can take.
Frequent speed changes. Sudden braking, accelerating, and decelerating contribute to higher energy consumption and shorter travel distance. To maximize the range of your scooter it’s best to ride at a constant speed most of the time.
Mobility Scooters With the Longest Travel Distance
EW-72 Four-Wheel Mobility Scooter. A high-performance, robust, feature-rich scooter with a maximum travel distance of 43 miles on a single charge. It can go up to 15 mph and can carry as much as 500 lbs.
EW-36 Mobility Scooter. A 3-wheel power-packed scooter with lots of high-end features. It has a maximum drive range of 43 miles and a top speed of 18 mph, so it’s slightly faster than the EW-72. However, it can carry up to “only” 350 lbs. It comes with optional electromagnetic brakes that significantly enhance safety.
EW-54 Mobility Scooter Coupe. A 4-wheel scooter with a special design: it features a hard top and windshield so it can be used in rainy weather without any major inconvenience. It has a maximum travel range of 43 miles and can go as fast as 15 mph with the same weight capacity as the EW-72, which is 500 lbs.
Looking After the Batteries the Right Way Improves Lifespan and Performance
Let’s see the most important things you can do to get the most out of the power unit of your scooter:
- After using the scooter, charge it overnight and for at least 12 hours. You shouldn’t wait until the battery is discharged.
- Don’t be afraid: you can’t overcharge the battery of modern scooters. The charger will shut off automatically when the power unit is fully charged.
- Charge the battery at least once a week even if the scooter is not in use. This action extends battery life.
- Always use a charger that is compatible with the battery of your scooter.
- Store batteries in a dry and cool place.
FYI – We have a helpful article about the best narrow walkers for seniors that you can check out here.
How Long Do Mobility Scooter Batteries Last?
It depends on how often you use the scooter. When using it daily you can expect an 18-24 month of battery lifespan on average. However, if you use it only once or twice a week, the battery should last for up to 3 years.
You can prolong battery lifespan significantly by looking after it the right way.
How Fast Do Mobility Scooters Go?
Some mobility scooters have a maximum speed of 18-20 mph. However, it’s not typical. Usually, scooters can go up to 8-10 mph, which is roughly double the walking speed. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t go faster than 4 mph on the pavement.
What Types of Mobility Scooters Exist?
Folding mobility scooters. They are lightweight and specially designed for making traveling easier. They’re really foldable so they don’t require as much space as regular scooters. Folding mobility scooters have either three or four wheels and some models feature long travel distance on a single charge (more than 30 miles).
Three-wheel mobility scooters. They are usually smaller and more suitable for indoor use than four-wheel scooters. Often, they have the same performance and can go just as far as four-wheel ones on a single charge.
Four-wheel mobility scooters. They are the largest and most robust types of scooters. The four-wheel design makes them particularly stable and safe. They’re the best choice for outdoor use.
What Is the Difference Between a Mobility Scooter and an Electric Wheelchair?
The vast majority of mobility scooters have three or four wheels while electric wheelchairs usually have six (two large wheels and four smaller ones to enhance stability).
Another important difference is that scooters are controlled with handlebars while electric wheelchairs (a.k.a. power chairs) have a joystick for this purpose. So power chairs are often a better choice for people with more severe mobility difficulties who would have a hard time using handlebars.
Electric wheelchairs can be maneuvered easier, therefore, they are more suitable for indoor use than mobility scooters. However, most power chair models can be used outdoors as well.
Concerning travel distance, scooters and power chairs have roughly the same specifications.
Do not confuse a mobility scooter with a rollator or a walker. While the latter also fall into the category of mobility aids, rollators and walkers are intended for completely different purposes (read more here).
Mobility scooters can make life so much easier for people with mobility difficulties. However, choosing the right one sometimes can be really hard as there are so many models out there.
Before buying, ask yourself a few questions. What needs do you have? What features are essential for you? Will you use the scooter mostly indoors or outdoors? Do you travel often?
Also, always check all the specifications of the scooter and the warranty time. A reliable mobility scooter can be really useful as it helps you to avoid accidents and makes everyday life safer and easier.