The choice of batteries and charger for your new scooter, regardless of which make or model scooter you choose, is an important consideration from a financial and safety point of view.

Deep cycle  What does it mean In scooter circles you will hear the term deep cycle. It is important that a deep cycle battery be used for electric scooter use. In simple terms a normal battery is designed to start a car ( one large current draw on start up and then relatively low or no current draw whilst driving ) whereas a deep cycle battery is designed for long continuous draw (as you get when you drive your scooter ) If you used a normal battery in your scooter it will last approx one third the time a deep cycle battery would last. That is you will replace the standard battery say in 1 years time as opposed to 3 years use from a deep cycle battery in the same scooter. One cycle of a battery is from full charge to low charge ( usually 40% remaining capacity) A good quality deep cycle battery will be good for 200 to 300 cycles and a standby battery will usually fail within 50 cycles and will usually not last more than 100 cycles.The life of the battery is determined by its cycle capacity. Simply as an example a scooter may do 20klm on a full charge.

This is one cycle. If you did 2klm and then recharged this would count as 1\10th of a cycle. If a battery with 200 cycle capacity was used in this scooter it would go 4000klm before the batteries failed. If the cycle capacity was 50 cycles then the scooter would go 1000klm before the batteries failed. Be aware many generic batteries supplied with new scooters may have a very limited cycle life. If a new scooter warranty excludes or limits the warranty on batteries then it is likely you will need batteries within the first year. A battery that has gone through its cycle life is not considered to be faulty but rather worn out.


Types of batteries used in scootersSLA 

Sealed Lead Acid
  Also known as AGM batteries. This is very popular battery for scooter use. It is a sealed battery that runs an acid paste between the plates and is mainly designed for standby power supplies and alarm systems. It is cost effective so most suppliers will fit this battery to scooters from new.  The Panasonic 28ah SLA is your best choice. This is the only certified and warranted deep cycle battery made specifically as a power source for electric scooters that I know of. SLA standby batteries are an economical alternative and will work fine but have a shorter life and limited or no warranty for scooter use.

Gel Batteries  Most Gel batteries supplied for scooter use are deep cycle and will perform well over a long period of time. Gel batteries can be expensive and are usually only used in scooters for specialized applications.  The main benefit being they are available in much bigger sizes than SLA batteries and so are suitable for older equipment. Some hospitals and institutions still insist on fitting GEL batteries. This is a left over from when power wheelchairs and some scooters were supplied with non sealed batteries.

Lead Acid   looks identical to a car battery but will usually be deep cycle. Not suitable for indoors and will require maintenance on a regular basis. Used mainly in Older larger scooters.

Charger and ChargingThe choice of charger is critical to long term battery life. It is important that the charger output be matched to the capacity of the batteries. Typically small capacity batteries up to 17ah will work best with a 2 amp charger and a 4 amp charger is best for batteries up to 33ah capacity and an 8 amp charger for batteries over 42ah

Safety Warning.
All battery chargers for scooters whether on board or separate to the scooter should have current Electrical standards approval.  Do not accept or use a charger that does not have this approval. 
Beware. Only ever connect the charger  to an approved powerpoint installed by a professional. Do not expose to the elements or drop.
    

An Essay by Rod Green copyright 2011 reproduced with permission
Batteries and Chargers for your electric mobility scooter. 12v 24v or 36v systems

Consider before you buy or pay for new batteries sooner than you think.

Panasonic 28ah LCXC SLA Battery.  The ideal setup for long life.
panasonic battery

copyright 2012  LB designs