Can you leave a mobility scooter on charge? Perhaps you’ve also faced the same dilemma I did.
A few days ago, I left my grandfather’s electric scooter on charge for an extended period, and I got worried when I unplugged the device because it was hot.
I contacted a local mobility scooter repair technician about the battery temperature. Read on to learn what I discovered about leaving a mobility scooter on charge.
Table of Contents
- You should avoid leaving your mobility scooter on charge for extended periods.
- Leaving your scooter on charge overcharges the battery and leads to damage.
- Ideally, use the recommended or a modern charger with a cut-off feature to prevent battery overcharging.
Can I Leave My Electric Scooter on Charge?
Although most modern chargers have a cut-off to turn off the charging process, you should not overcharge your power chair.
When you overcharge your electric scooter, the chemical composition inside the battery changes, shortening the battery life.
According to the National Library of Medicine, injury-related burns from mobility scooter devices have increased. (1)
Moreover, the injuries are caused by the failure of Lithium-Ion batteries through a process known in science as thermal runaway.
To prevent electric scooter-related fires, the types of batteries the scooter uses must meet the required standards.
Also, check the battery gauge and disconnect the charger once fully charged.
Best Practices to Charge a Mobility Scooter Battery
As a mobility scooter owner, you want your device to serve you well and have an extended lifespan. So, it is ideal to understand the best battery charging practices.
Meanwhile, check out this YouTube video from CareCo on how to charge your scooter’s battery.
1. Use a Suitable Scooter Charger
Use the approved charger that is compatible with your power chair. For new batteries, ensure they’re fully charged before use.
An unfit battery charger may generate extreme temperatures, affecting battery life.
Moreover, NPR says that most scooter fires in New York have been attributed to swapping chargers between different mobility scooters. (2)
It is advisable to use the recommended charger for your power unit to avoid battery damage. You can also buy an extra charger for convenience.
2. Schedule Your Charging Activities
If you use your mobility scooter regularly, charge it overnight and disconnect it from power once fully charged.
A full charge takes 6 to 8 hours, so it is best to schedule the charging time with your sleep schedule.
Keep the charging cycle, and be patient until the battery is fully charged.
You’ll need constant charging for large and medium scooters because the devices have a high power demand.
3. Check the Battery Gauge
The battery gauge indicates if the power chair has a low battery or is fully charged.
After connecting the electric scooter to a power source, confirm whether the light indicator turns on.
This indicates that your device is charging. You will unplug the power cord when the charger turns green, showing a full charge.
4. Charge in a Cool and Dry Place
Mobility scooter batteries have a robust design. When kept at optimal conditions, they can serve you well.
Damp conditions can reduce the battery life because it damages the cells. Always charge your scooter battery in a dry and cool place for optimal battery longevity.
READ MORE: Cost of Mobility Insurance
What Happens When You Overcharge Your Mobility Scooter’s Battery?
Keeping your electric scooter charging all the time is not a good practice. However, you can charge your device when the battery drains.
Overcharging your mobility aid device leads to the following:
When a battery overcharges, the electrolyte gets hot, generating high amounts of hydrogen gas. The electrolyte can damage the plates in vented batteries, exposing them.
Moreover, hydrogen gas buildup on sealed batteries leads to cracks, leaks, and bursts.
Shorter Battery Life
Most batteries will last between 12 to 18 months. However, if well-taken care of, scooter batteries can last up to 3 years. (3)
Overcharging the batteries will decrease their lifespan. Moreover, changing a battery after 3 to 6 months can be costly.
If you need efficiency with your power chair, follow the user manual and charge the battery according to the provided voltage and time (6 – 8 hours).
READ MORE: Can Electric Scooters Go Uphill?
Tips to Maximize a Mobility Scooter’s Battery Life
- Refrain from draining your battery.
- Charge your battery regularly.
- Avoid overcharging your battery.
- Don’t store batteries without a charge (ensure they are 40-50% charged).
- Use the recommended charger for your battery.
- Store your battery at recommended temperatures.
- Know your battery range and capacity.
Signs of a Faulty Battery
A faulty battery can inconvenience your usage experience. When you notice the following signs on your electric scooter, it’s time to change your battery.
- Frequent cuts or stops: Consider replacing the scooter’s battery if your machine starts cutting power.
- Leaking fluid: when you notice leakage from the holes at the top, you’re most likely overcharging the battery.
- Lowered performance. If you covered 5 miles before but can barely cover 3 miles recently, the battery capacity has declined and needs replacement.
1. When should I charge my mobility scooter?
Generally, it would be best to charge the battery after every journey. It reduces the inconvenience of charging the scooter in the morning.
2. What’s the recommended charge level when storing batteries for extended periods?
The recommended charge level for storing batteries is 40 – 60%. Additionally, keep the batteries in a cool and dry place.
3. Should I service my mobility scooter?
Yes, it would help if you serviced your scooter at least once a year. Ensure you repair any damages when they occur to attain optimum performance.
4. Where can I get my electric scooter batteries tested?
When you need your battery tested, visit the local mobility scooter shop. The technicians are well-skilled in examining faulty batteries.
Can you leave a mobility scooter on charge? No, because leaving your electric scooter to overcharge damages the battery and leads to the additional cost of buying a new one.
However, you can use modern scooter chargers with a cut-off feature, preventing overcharging.
So, following the recommended best charging practices is up to you to ensure your scooter stays free from battery damage.
1.Hsieh MKH, Lai MC, Sim HSN, Lim X, Fok SFD, Joethy J, et al. Electric Scooter Battery Detonation: A Case Series And Review Of Literature. Annals of burns and fire disasters [Internet]. Euro-Mediterranean Council for Burns and Fire Disasters – MBC; 2021;34:264–76. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8534310/
2.Schuerman M. Fires from exploding e-bike batteries multiply in NYC — sometimes fatally. NPRorg [Internet]. 2022 Oct 30; Available from: https://www.npr.org/2022/10/30/1130239008/fires-from-exploding-e-bike-batteries-multiply-in-nyc-sometimes-fatally
3.MK Battery | How Long Do Batteries for Mobility Scooters Last? [Internet]. www.mkbattery.com. Available from: https://www.mkbattery.com/blog/how-long-do-batteries-mobility-scooters-last