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.
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.
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
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