Okay, so you've chosen a lightweight mobility scooter and you're now faced with the decision of which battery to choose? You've spoken to someone who says they have a battery that provides better performance, or you just want to see if there is a new type of battery on the market that is better suited to your needs.
Well, sit back and relax. Below is some information on the four main types of battery that can be used in your lightweight mobility scooter.
The first one to mention, and the most common is the Sealed Lead Acid Battery (otherwise known as the SLA). The SLA battery has been around for many years. It was first invented in 1859 by Gaston Plante, so has been tried and tested for over 140 years.
The SLA battery is also the least expensive and most widely available. It is ideal for use in mobility scooters due to its robust qualities. However, it can be counterproductive on lightweight mobility scooters because SLA batteries tend to be quite heavy.
That said, the SLA is an excellent, cost-effective choice if you're happy to contend with the additional weight.
Gel Cell Battery
Originally developed in the 1930s, a modern Gel Cell battery is not dissimilar to the SLA/VLRA battery type. Essentially, the main difference is that it has a gelified electrolyte.
It is sealed, non-spillable, and offers good performance. Prices vary, but the GEL battery sits somewhere between the SLA battery and the Lithium Ion battery in cost.
Absorbed Glass Mat Battery (AGM)
The AGM battery is a relatively newer technology than the SLA or Gel Cell batteries, it has only been available since the 1970s.
AGM batteries use electrolyte that is contained in absorbent glass mats between plates; unlike the SLA or Gel Cell batteries that use a gelled or liquid electrolyte.
The great thing about this is that the battery will not leak, even if it is broken. It also has a low self-discharge which means that it can sit in storage for much longer periods of time.
Lithium Ion Battery
The Lithium Ion Battery (Li-ion) was first made available for commercial use in 1991, so is still considered new technology. The Lithium Ion Battery has changed the battery market, and it is used in most modern technology, including pacemakers, mobile phones, and computers.
These batteries are great for mobility scooters because they are lightweight. This makes it lighter to lift, and helps when travelling with your lightweight mobility scooter.
Because Li-ion batteries have a high-energy-density rate and are highly reactive they will store more energy per weight than other batteries. Although Li-ion batteries do need to be handled with care, they are safe when packaged in a hard case.
There is no quick and easy solution or one battery that will suit everyone. You will have to ask yourself a few important questions, like how much money are you willing to spend on a battery? How heavy do you want your battery to be? And, how much range do you want your battery to provide?
Although the Lithium Ion, SLA, GEL and AGM batteries can all be used for air travel (in all cases you must check with your chosen airline first), the weight will certainly be an important factor - depending on the way you use the mobility scooter.
Perhaps you only use your mobility scooter in and around your local area? If that is the case and the only time you will be removing the battery is for charging, that suggests that weight is a less important factor. It is also important to be aware that not all mobility scooters can be fitted with all types of battery, so if you want a scooter that runs on a certain battery type, then always do your research first.
We hope that if you started this post saying, Sorry SLA what? or Lithium who? then you now have a general understanding of the 4 most common types of battery for mobility scooter users. If you do require additional information, then please contact a member of our friendly team on 0333-414-1881 or complete our enquiry form.
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