There are a few ways to charge a scooter or powered
wheelchair in a motor vehicle. This is the fastest, cheapest and easiest!
I use my powerchair a LOT.
I always prefer to have fully charged batteries at every opportunity and
the batteries like it too as they last much longer. But first the other methods!
In order of how bad due to charge speed, complication or expense!
Method 1: Use
your standard powerchair or scooter 24v charger with an
"inverter" connected to
your battery. This is very, very, slow and requires that you connect an extra
"inverter" to your cars battery to obtain the "wall" voltage. Its very
inefficient and wasteful to convert 12v from your car to 120 or 240ac And
then back down to 24v for your batteries.
And depending on inverter type, and charger type it may not
even work. Its a hit and miss affair that is expensive. And it takes
typically 8 hours for a full charge...Yawn...
Method 2: Use one
of the commercially available "in car" mobility chargers.
These are only 2.5
Amps! So it will take 10 hours solid just to replace less than half of your
charge in a typical powerchair or scooter. These are a waste of time and money.
Unless charging something with very small batteries like a shopping scooter.
Even then - slow.
Method 3: Connect an
"Anderson" connector to each battery on your powerchair. Fit another one
on your cars dashboard and connect it with HEAVY 10Sq mm (7 gauge) cable to the
cars battery with a 100 amp fuse. See
Anderson style connectors
Charge a Powerchair directly from a vehicle for info...This charges one
battery at a time fast from any car.
Now you can connect one powerchair battery in turn (NOT BOTH
TOGETHER) directly to your cars battery and therefore its charging system. After say
30 mins do the other battery. Make sure you charge each one for the SAME time
period as you drive or run the engine. This typically can put up to 100 amps
into your battery if its big, and very discharged. Amps fall away as it becomes
charged up. But now you need one of these too
overnight dual charger
to balance the batteries up.
Method 4: Use the same
Anderson connectors as in 3 above, but use a very special charger called a
Hyperion charger to charge at 24v and charge both batteries at the same time at
24v in very efficient and controlled fashion as you drive. See
Method 5: The latest and easiest method! Only recently figured out how to
do this safely and easily!
Fit the two (one pair) of
Anderson connectors to your powerchair or scooters batteries. One connector to
battery 1 and the other connector to battery 2
Now use a volt meter on your batteries. Test one POSITIVE and one NEGATIVE
terminal on different batteries. Not on the
same battery! (If you
get a reading of 12v or 13v you are measuring ONE battery!)
One set of terminals will read 24v (actually more like 25v or 26v) and the
other two POS and NEG terminals will read ZERO volts.
That's because the powerchairs wiring loom connects these two zero volt terminals
together. It goes nowhere else. Undo the two that read ZERO volts and tape up
the ends of the terminals and leave them disconnected. You don't want them any
more. The powerchairs wiring loom then is now only connected in two places. The
only connections to the two "centre" battery terminals should be your Anderson
Now the powerchair wont move... Because nothing links the two centre
terminals to join up the string of batteries. Until you remember the two
freshly fitted Anderson connectors.
My pair of Anderson connectors yesterday... The grey things! The front one
goes to the front battery. The rear one goes to the rear battery. Each one is
now isolated from each other since we disconnected that powerchair wiring loom
cable that joined the batteries together.. So the chair will not drive until we plug in a wire LINK below...
Here the LINK wire that makes the chair go is on the right. It simply plugs
in and is left in like a "key" so that the batteries are joined in a string to
allow them to be 24v for the powerchair or scooter. It can still be charged
normally with the standard charge socket when this link is in place too. Remove
it though and we have two ISOLATED 12V batteries!
So with the other connector shown on the left above we can plug the two batteries
together as a single battery. A 12v battery. They are now connected in parallel
and can be charged with any 12v battery charger or vehicle. This has the advantage of
always making the batteries balance or equalise exactly during charge or even
just by connecting them together, The chair wont drive like this. Which prevents
you moving while charging which is good. The control
system will think there is a battery problem! And there is! its now 12v combined
rather than series and 24v...
Advantages? You can charge DIRECTLY via an Anderson connector in your car.
Both batteries at the same time at up to 100 amps. So very very fast recovery.
Just make sure that only 7 gauge or 10 sq mm cable is used and that you
understand the dangers. Thousands of amps can flow and destroy
vehicles and powerchairs if you cock it up! Be warned.
ONLY ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU KNOW EXACTLY
WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
Anyway here's how it goes... I walk the dog, or am just going out (like in
these photos), to the shopping centre. My batteries are a little used up 3
I am going out for a good few hours so take my charge lead with me below...
Here its about 55 percent or more discharged.
Charge lead in hand! Van in distance... I drive this van from my powerchair
so I have a connector in the dashboard ready.
Tiny black thing in the centre, under the ash tray.
It is another Anderson connector. Its connected to the
battery under the cars bonnet via a 100 amp fuse.
Now one end of my cable is plugged in. And then the other two plugs are
connected to the powerchair. Cant photo that as its too hard to bend/focus
etc... Now to show what happens I have a Digital "clamp" ammeter.
49 Amps, --- SIX TIMES FASTER than your mobility
charger! Yes, its a different cable! Its shorter (better)
This started up @ around 80 Amps, and settled down
after a few minutes to 45 or so. After a 15 minute drive in town traffic it was
just 6 amps. About 90 percent charged and ready for the pub! I do this daily.
Helps keep the average DOD to sensible limits. Batteries last years longer.
As you can see here it is sat on my passenger seat while I drive... It
started off showing around 2 amps going in the wrong direction! It was slowly
feeding the vans electrics, from the ramp etc. Since the van, and the
powerchairs batteries are now all connected together.
When I turn the key to start the van around 50 Amps went towards helping the
van start. (This will start your vehicle with a flat battery too if you are
Once started it charged initially at around 60 amps, More if badly
discharged. After a few minutes that settled to about 35 amps for a fairly long
time. That's typically 5 to 7 times faster charge rate than your "mobility"
Will it hurt the batteries? Most definitely not! Your cars alternator doesn't
hurt ITS battery does it?
Actually it never exceeds 14.4v so its perfectly safe even for gel batteries.
When all three batteries are charged the total amps falls to less than a quarter
of 1 amp. Your car isn't stupid it doesn't overcharge batteries but it does
charge your chair fast and cheaply. Just a few connectors and nothing to go
Charge a Powerchair directly from a vehicle Earlier version -
charges one battery at a time...Must read as explains in more detail than this
and why you need them
Fast Charge YOUR Powerchair
in Around 1 Hour
Inverters & Chargers
Batteries for Both Vans & Power Wheelchairs
Batteries to Buy
Very Flexible Charger!
Lithium Ion Batteries for
Powerchairs and Scooters
My Power Wheelchair or Scooter Will Not Charge
BCI Battery Sizes, Group 22, 24, 34, 27 etc
Powerchair by Radio Control
How to organise yourself for every eventuality!