As we age, mobility can become a problem. Many of us want to stay active and maintain freedom in our everyday lives. To maintain our freedom to move around indoors and out without limitations, we have to solve our mobility issues. And the best way to get around it is with an electric wheelchair.
A powered wheelchair can be fitted to our unique specifications making them very comfortable. Once you get used to operating it independently and its power, you will be free to move around as you please. Before evaluating and choosing the chair of your dreams, there are a few burning questions you may need answers to. One question, in particular, is how far can an electric wheelchair go?
Most power wheelchairs can go a speed of three to five miles per hour. The battery can last about 8 hours and can go a distance of up to 10 to 20 miles depending on which model you own.
Factors That Influence Travel Distance
Many factors contribute to how far your electric wheelchair will go. You should know all the factors that influence travel distance to better preserve your battery and keep your chair going for as long as possible. Factors include:
Maintaining constant and low speed will help preserve your running time. If your speed is inconsistent, or you travel fast-paced, you risk your battery depleting sooner. A depleted battery means less running time and distance for you.
Be sure your tire pressure is adequate. Underinflated tires can be extremely dangerous and can cause permanent damage to your powered wheelchair. Low pressure also affects how far you can travel in your chair. Be sure to check your tire pressure before you go out and fill it with air as needed.
Be sure to check the weight limits on your chair. Be sure to maintain a payload that is under the limit. The more weight on the chair, the slower it will go.
Rough terrain or uphill travel can impact the distance you can travel. More energy is needed to maneuver in these conditions, so it is best to stray away from them unless necessary.
If your battery is not properly charged, you will not go very far. Do not forget to let your wheelchair charge overnight for a max charge or at least 8-12 hours after max use. If you are infrequently using your chair, you can charge less frequently.
Best Electric Wheelchairs for Long-Distance Travel
If you are looking for long-distance powered chairs, there are many on the market. The Porto Mobility Ranger Quattro Ultra is heavy-duty and powerful. It maxes up to 30 miles when fully charged and carries dual 24V lithium batteries. Additionally, the Ranger Quattro Ultra can travel over rough terrain. It has max maneuverability, is compact, highly transportable, and has a weight capacity of up to 400 lbs.
Another long-range all-terrain model is the Ranger Quattro Ultra XL – ‘The Beast’! It can travel up to 40 miles (!) accommodates up to 550 lbs, and is easy to travel with. There are other great options available, so be sure to compare these models to others on the market if you are looking for long-distance travel options.
Mobility Scooter Distances
In comparison to electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters can go much further before they need to be recharged. They can be an alternative for powered wheelchairs when the distance is a top priority. Fully charged, most models can go about six to twenty miles. If you get a high-end model like the EW-36, EW-54, or EW-72, you can go as far as 45 miles. They have a weight capacity of 500lbs, with a 15 mph max speed. For those looking for a wheelchair alternative, mobility scooters can help you go the distance.
Aging comes with many challenges. Among the top challenges are issues with mobility. Immobility can mean having to depend on others to get around. For those of us wanting to maintain our freedom, an electric wheelchair is a great option.
With travel distances up to 20 miles, not only can they go the distance, they can help us get around our homes or town independently. For those looking for even further travel distances, a mobility scooter is a healthy alternative – check out our guide to the best mobility scooters for some great options. For those looking for more answers regarding electric wheelchairs, read our frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to extend the life of your powered wheelchair battery?
A typical wheelchair battery will last you for about two years with proper care. Without proper care, you can be looking at a year’s time frame instead. To extend your battery life, try charging it on twelve-hour cycles or overnight for maximum charge. You can also use a consistent speed while using your wheelchair and use the charger supplied by the manufacturer.
How often should I charge my power wheelchair?
How often you should charge your wheelchair depends on how much use you get out of it. If you use it constantly, be sure to charge it for at least 8 hours after a day’s use. For limited use, you can charge it at a minimum of 8 hours twice per week. When in doubt, you can always charge it overnight, which ensures full power.
How long does an electric wheelchair battery last?
Your powered wheelchair battery should have a shelf life of two, maybe, three years. How long it lasts depends on you taking proper care of it. Be sure to read through your wheelchairs manual and familiarize yourself with how to properly care for the battery. This includes looking up how to charge it, how long to charge it, and how to replace it when needed.
Can I upgrade the battery to get better range?
In short, yes, you can upgrade your battery to get a better range. You can check what type of battery your powered chair uses and which alternatives are available to you. Be sure to check with your chairs manufacturers to ensure you make the proper upgrades. If you have a warranty on your product, make sure an upgrade will not disqualify you from using it as well.