Is it just a standard power point that is required to recharge an electric scooter or wheelchair?
The answer is yes, however we require businesses and organisations to meet our minimum safety criteria. In addition, the RECHARGE team works with businesses and organisations to make sure the area surrounding a designated power point has the appropriate access and circulation space for an electric mobility scooter or wheelchair. Often things can be moved to create this space.
Do all electric scooters or wheelchairs have an onboard battery charger?
About 50% of electric mobility scooters or wheelchairs have an onboard battery charger and about 50% have an off board charger. In saying this however, you will find that most of the latest scooter or wheelchair models on the market have off board chargers.
If you have an onboard charger, this means you already have your charger with you and can recharge at any business or organisation providing the recharge service. Please check the 'RECHARGE Finder' section of this website for a list of these businesses and organisations (Program Partners). If you have a separate charger, you need to remember to take it with you. The good news is that electric scooter and wheelchair batteries are being manufactured smaller and smaller, so they are not too bulky for travel purposes.
The possibility of creating ‘super’ RECHARGE points (where a business provides a charger for recharging purposes) has been explored. Unfortunately, there is too much risk involved. Many electric scooters and wheelchairs require a standard charger, but there is a small proportion that don’t. Plugging in a battery that isn’t compatible could potentially do serious damage to an electric scooter or wheelchair.
How long does it take to recharge a battery?
Recharge times can vary from user to user, depending on the state of batteries before the charging process, the size of batteries and the size/voltage of charger.
Newer batteries will take longer to charge as they have more capacity. Older batteries you will find, over time, may harden in places (sulfate), which lessens the capacity and therefore will not hold their charge for as long.
Mobility vehicles MUST be recharged after every use. Use the following rule of thumb: For every hour of use, put your mobility vehicle on charge for double the time (1 hr = 2 hrs recharging time).
If I were to charge my battery at a recharge location for an hour, what distance would I be able to travel?
To work out what distance you can travel if you use a RECHARGE location for an hour, ask yourself these questions:
At what level was my battery when I started out for the day? (e.g. full (green), medium (yellow) or low (red))
If your battery is near full capacity, you still have between 20-30km you can travel.
If your battery level is medium, you have between 10-15km you can travel.
If your battery is level is near low, you have less than 10km you can travel.
After having my mobility vehicle on charge for an hour, has my battery gauge reached midway?
As long as your battery gauge indicates there is half battery capacity and you are within 10-15km radius from home, you should be able to reach your destination safely.
It is difficult to ascertain what distance can be traveled exactly, as there are many factors. The condition of the batteries (old vs new), the size of battery and the load on the mobility vehicle are some examples of what needs to be taken into consideration.
Always put your mobility vehicle on charge the night before use to ensure that your batteries are full before setting out for the day.
We have listed below a number of other web sites which may have information that will be beneficial to you, ensuring your travel is as safe and hassle free as possible.
NRMA has funded Australia's first national survey of mobility scooter users. The survey was designed to provide a better understanding of the demographics of mobility scooter users, and patterns of use, amongst the Australian population to inform education and awareness raising campaigns in the future.