Electric Wheelchairs & Scooters FAQ
Q: What is the difference between an electric wheelchair and a scooter?
A: Electric wheelchairs are custom-fitted and configured and allow for better turning radius and easier access within the home and in public spaces. Electric wheelchairs are needed for someone with limited or no upper or lower body mobility.
Mobility scooters are 3 or 4 wheel-powered vehicles that have handlebars (tiller) and are best used outside of the home due to their larger turning radius. Electric scooters require that you be able to sit upright and grab the handlebars for control.
Q: How do I select the right electric wheelchair or mobility scooter?
A: You need to factor in your height, weight, degree of upper body mobility, lifestyle, whether they wheelchair will be transported and whether it will be used indoors or outdoors more.
Are there electric wheelchairs and scooters for persons over 350 lbs?
A: Many wheelchair and scooter manufacturers have heavy-duty wheelchairs, sometimes called bariatric wheelchairs or scooters, that can accomodate persons up to 650 lbs.
Q: Can electric wheelchairs or scooters drive on uneven dirt, grass or gravel?
A: Electric wheelchairs and scooters are designed for a variety of surfaces. For outdoor use, an electric wheelchair with rear-wheel drive is recommended. For electric scooters, the 4-wheeled variety do best as they are more stable.
Q: How steep of a hill can electric wheelchairs climb?
A:Most electric wheelchairs are designed for a 5% grade per ADA regulations. However they can handle steeper grades for short distances. The main issues are battery power and stability
Q: Are batteries included in the price of an electric wheelchair or scooter?
A: Yes, virtuall all electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters come with either 2 or 4 sealed batteries. Wheelchair and scooter batteries are FAA airline-approved and can be used on all forms of public transportation too.
Q: Will electric wheelchairs and scooters fit in the trunk of a car?
A: Some electric wheelchairs and scooters are designed to be easily disassembled for transport. These are known by as transportable wheelchairs, foldable wheelchairs, or travel scooters. However, the lightest piece generally weighs about 30 pounds which can be difficult for someone to lift. If you plan on transporting an electric wheelchair or scooter a lot, consider purchasing a wheelchair lift to make transport easier.
Q: How long do wheelchair ramps need to be?
A: Typically a 6-foot to 8-foot ramp is long enough for loading and unloading a wheelchair or scooter from a van or truck.