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More About Wheelchair Batteries

Your electric wheelchair's batteries are one of its most important components, giving it the power needed to take you wherever you go. Pride Mobility Jazzy/Quantum and Invacare power wheel chairs each use 2 deep-cycle batteries.

Battery Types

There are just two types of batteries that are suitable for use in motorized wheelchairs: gel-cell, and AGM.

Wheelchair Battery Sizes and Prices

Most Pride and Invacare power wheelchairs use 12-volt U1 batteries (small - 24.5 pounds each), 12-volt Group-22 batteries (medium - 38 pounds each), and 12-volt Group-24 batteries (large - 53.5 pounds each). A few electric wheelchair models use Group-34 or half-U1 batteries.

Large batteries are more powerful and much more expensive than small batteries. Each wheelchair model requires a specific size of battery. Using the wrong size battery can damage or destroy your power wheelchair's electronics. Please see your wheelchair owner's manual for your specific battery requirements.

2 batteries are required in each electric wheelchair, and both should be replaced at the same time. Wheelchair batteries can cost hundreds of dollars to replace - see our survey of battery prices from major resellers. Wheelchair batteries are available from other sources, too: check your yellow pages under batteries, or search for "wheelchair batteries" on your favorite search engine.

Charging Your Wheelchair Batteries

It is important to note that you cannot charge gel or AGM batteries with a charger designed for wet-cell batteries. Always read your power wheelchair owner's manual and follow its instructions with regard to the type of battery compatible with your wheelchair's charger.

New electric wheelchair batteries have a maximum life of 300 recharges (or fewer), meaning that they can only be recharged 300 times before you must replace them. Therefore, it's best to drain your power chair's batteries somewhat (but not completely) before recharging. We recommend that you charge your wheelchair's batteries at least once per week.

Battery Range per Charge: 25 miles ... or is it 5?

Manufacturers' officially published range for most power wheelchair batteries is 20-25 miles per charge under optimal factory conditions. In reality, battery range is never optimal. The "optimal" range is reduced by the weight of the rider, less-than-ideal new battery break-in, difficult terrain, hot and cold operating temperatures, frequent stops and starts, aging batteries, and more.

Hard flat surfaces, for example, yield more miles per charge than carpeted or uneven surfaces. A 100-pound rider will get more miles per charge than a 250-pound rider. For the typical wheeler who uses a chair on varying surfaces, the actual range of new batteries (following proper break-in) may be 5-15 miles. Still, a 5-15 mile battery range should easily allow you to get through an average day.

Improving Wheelchair Battery Range and Life

Here are some pointers to help you get maximum range and life out of your wheelchair batteries:

  1. Never replace just one battery; replace both wheelchair batteries at the same time.
  2. Follow the directions in your wheelchair manual for the proper break-in of new batteries.
  3. Keep your powerchair batteries cool and dry to extend battery life.
  4. Don't let your wheelchair batteries discharge completely; this shortens battery life.
  5. Accelerate slowly to improve battery range; fast acceleration quickly drains your powerchair batteries.
  6. Avoid frequent stops and starts to improve battery range. Proceed at a consistent speed toward your destination.
  7. If your wheelchair is not used for an extended period of time, be sure to recharge your batteries at least once each month. Otherwise your batteries may permanently lose their ability to recharge.

If you have any questions regarding the batteries that we supply with our used power electric wheelchairs, please call us at 540-721-3327 (Virginia).

"Just a note to let you know that the wheelchair that I purchased from you a few weeks ago is working out just fine. I'm still doing some fine tuning and getting used to it. Thanks for your search for the chair and to your staff for making the changes and adjustments while we were visiting y'all in Moneta."
-- from "RC" in Richmond, Virginia