Charging Your Electric Wheelchair

By Published On: 1 October 2021

Battery technology for electric wheelchairs has come far in recent years. At LITH-TECH, all our wheelchairs are powered by lithium batteries, which is where the name LITH-TECH comes from (LITHium TECHnology).

This blog covers the best practice for charging your wheelchair batteries, when you should replace them, plane-safe batteries, and more.

Why Lithium for Batteries?

Lithium is relatively new technology in batteries, only really becoming widely used in recent years. The increase in EVs (electric vehicles) that rely on lithium has meant that the awareness, engineering, and development of them has increased. This has done nothing but benefit electric powered wheelchairs.

Traditionally, lead-acid batteries have been used in wheelchairs, but their negative environmental impact, weight, and short lifespan meant that new technology needed to be invented. Along came lithium.

Lithium is a finite resource, but as it has a longer lifespan and can be easily recycled, it has a better environmental impact than lead acid, which is why LITH-TECH uses it. Similarly, good quality batteries, like the ones LITH-TECH use and sell, will last longer than a lower quality one.

Best Practice for Battery Charging and Longevity

Now that you understand why we use lithium, we’ll explain how to best charge your batteries, care for them, and increase their longevity.

Battery Charging Best Practice

LITH-TECH batteries can be charged through the joystick and even removed and charged directly into the batteries themselves. We supply a charger cable for each battery with an adaptor, and this should be the only charger you use, so as not to invalidate the warranty.

Our top charging tips for electric wheelchairs are

  1. Charge your batteries to 100% then drain them before you charge them again.  
  2. Make sure that you charge your batteries using a surge protected plug or extension cord.
  3. Charge your batteries overnight like you would a mobile phone so you can use your chair throughout the day.
  4. If you are charging batteries through the joystick, fold the chair as it takes up less room in your home.

Caring For Your Wheelchair Batteries

If you use your wheelchair infrequently, ensuring the batteries are charged once a month or so will help to increase their longevity. It is also very important to keep your batteries dust-free and clean, but never use water to clean them. Instead, focus on dusting with a microfibre cloth and removing any debris from around the battery, as soon as possible.

Plane Safe Wheelchair Batteries

To be plane safe, wheelchair batteries must be no more than 6aH each if you want to take two batteries, if you are taking one it can be 12aH, and must be removable.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), no more than two batteries can be carried and boarded per person. Their website states that the following is allowed: “Spare batteries for portable electronic devices containing lithium-ion batteries exceeding a Watt-hour rating of 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh when carried for personal use.” 

Spare batteries or removable batteries must be carried in the cabin rather than the hold. As lithium is incredibly lightweight, this is entirely possible, and the batteries can be easily stowed by anyone.

What does LITH-TECH say?

Toby St-George, founder and CEO, says about our batteries:

“LITH-TECH is short for lithium technology, so at LITH-TECH we only use the very best batteries available. We’re always happy to talk through your options, so please ring us to discuss.”

Are you looking for a lithium battery wheelchair? Get in touch with LITH TECH today and ask how we can help.

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