Picture the scene. You know that a mobility scooter will bring you much needed independence. You know that it will enable you to make choices to do things that you have previously had to ask others to help with. While researching the best model for your needs, one of the million dollar questions is “How far can I go on it?”
In our experience, drive ranges for mobility scooters vary greatly based on a number of factors including the specific model of scooter, your driving style, rider weight, battery size, power, and age. Not to mention the terrain you’re driving on. But you can typically expect to get anywhere from as little as 5 miles on the low end, up to 45 miles for more premium models.
Read on to learn why driving ranges vary so greatly and the different factors that can affect how far you can go, and discover the mobility scooters with the longest range capabilities.
How Far Can A Scooter Go On A Single Charge?
How far a scooter can go on a single charge is decided by the scooter type, batteries and a host of other factors. Scooters tend to fit into three main groups:
- Portable boot scooters: While these are generally smaller in size, hence the name, a distance of 10 miles on a single charge is highly likely. Speeds can average 5mph.
- Mid-range scooters: Mid range scooters can still be taken apart to be put in the boot (depending on the model of course) and can increase your distance to anything up to 25 miles on a single charge.
- Road-legal scooters: Road legals can give you around 30-40 miles on a single charge. While the distance increases, the speed increases and you have now the ability to travel on the roads.
Mobility Scooter Drive Range Explained
The range that a scooter is able to be driven can be influenced by one factor or a combination of many. Imagine an average scooter owner, traveling uphill with their weekly shopping balanced on it. Now imagine the same person, traveling along a flat pavement with shopping. The drive range will be different for both.
Let’s look at the factors that might make a difference:
Battery Size & Power
There are two main types of batteries typically be used on a scooter. They are:
- Lead acid – otherwise known as wet cell
The vast majority of scooters use Lead acid batteries. They are however heavier to maneuver and a shorter life span (approximately 3 years). Li-ion batteries are lighter and smaller which can be highly beneficial if you are lifting your scooter in and out of a vehicle. They have been found to last up to 4 years but the downside is the price. They are more expensive.
In order to get a larger range on your scooter, go large with the battery. It is that simple. However larger battery impacts in many other ways which may mean that is not a possibility. The larger the battery, the heavier it will be and this could be problematic for yourself or someone who is assisting you.
Mobility Scooter – Infographic
Batteries have been known to lose up to 25% of their capacity within six months. This is not to say that this will happen for them all, but it is something to consider when you are managing your batteries. Batteries should last you around the 12-18 month mark but this is not written in stone.
The distance is affected by the weight of the occupant. The lighter the occupant, the more distance you are likely to get from your scooter. Rider weight can also be affected indirectly with the scooter. Those who may have been able and previously used to walk to the shops may use their scooter for that trip.
Think about the terrain that you are traveling on. Up and down hills versus a flat pavement will make a difference in the ability of the scooter on one charge. Imagine that you charge your scooter overnight. You may go on flat terrain and the charge will last you a week. Change that terrain to hills and that charge may only work for 2-3 days.
I would encourage you to ask yourself questions about your scooter driving when you are reading this. Do I drive safely? Have I tried to take a passenger? Have I driven too fast? Have I gone too far on one charge? Have I over accelerated the scooter? All of these things and more impact the range that you are able to go.
Do premium scooters go further than budget models?
Premium scooters normally will have a better driving range on them purely due to the increased battery power that they are liable to have as well as the increased motor power. Premium versus budget. Like everything in the world, it is money. While it is clear that a more expensive one may go further, you have to find the one that is right for you.
The Longest Range Mobility Scooter
There are so many mobility scooters out there on the market that it can be overwhelming to know the one you need for the distance you need so I went to the top of the heap. My search for the longest range mobility scooter took me down to a final three. Here they are:
The E-Wheels EW-54: Nicknamed The Buggie! This delightful buggy looks a little like a golf cart! It holds a 500lb weight capacity. It gives you a top speed of 15mph and can last 40 miles before a charge is needed.
The E-Wheels EW-72: Again, this has a 500lb weight limit. It is an outdoor scooter primarily used for longer distances. A maximum speed of 15mph is attainable along with a distance of 43 miles. It runs on pneumatic tyres so good for continual use.
The E-Wheels EW-36: This beauty is the best of them all for distance for its ability to get to 45 miles and over depending on terrain and other factors. Again, this one has pneumatic types but offers rear shock absorbers also to steady the ride.
Every mobility scooter on the market has its good points and bad points. Every scooter’s driving distance will be marginally different. It’s all about what is right for you to achieve your driving needs with the budget you have.