The 4 Best Electric Mobility Scooters for Adults

An electric mobility scooter can help limited-mobility adults reclaim parts of their lives that once seemed unreachable. Shopping, family outings, and even moving around the house can be difficult, but a mobility scooter can give you or your loved one their freedom back.

Everyone leads a different lifestyle, and your mobility scooter should make you comfortable in yours. That's why we have chosen the best scooters for indoor use, outdoor use, and rugged outdoor use.

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Buying Considerations

If it is your first time buying a mobility scooter, there are several considerations to take into account before finalizing your purchase.

Safety is always a concern if you are ever riding on the road, but also consider the range and charging time of your electric mobility scooter’s battery and how to deal with a situation where you run out of charge. Last but not least, make sure you can carry your scooter on the car, bus, and by any other transportation methods you use.

Charging Your Electric Mobility Scooter

Before purchasing your mobility scooter look to see how it is charged and how long it takes.

Many scooters use gel lead acid batteries instead of the newer lithium ion batteries, so that they can be taken on airplanes and cruises. The downside to this is that gel lead acid batteries take longer to charge.

Depending on which electric mobility scooter you buy, your batteries may take between 8 and 12 hours to fully charge. If you are not used to relying on battery-powered transportation, it may take some time to get into the rhythm of keeping your scooter charged.

Besides the battery charge times, also take into account how the scooter charges. Depending on the electric mobility scooter, you may have to remove the battery to plug it in, or you may have to leave the battery on while charging. Most of them offer the option of charging either way, but check to make sure before purchasing.

Driving with Your Electric Mobility Scooter

If you need to drive your mobility scooter to different places, it is obviously important that you be able to fit it into the car that usually carries it. It is also a good idea to make sure it will fit into other vehicles just in case.

Measure your trunk or the back of your car, and make sure that the scooter is light enough to lift into the vehicle. Many portable mobility scooters easily break down into small, easy-to-carry pieces.

Medical Conditions

Electric mobility scooters are for those who may not be strong enough to walk far or are at risk for falls. Users should, however, be able to stand and walk short distances unaided.

If you are not able to move around unaided due to weakness or a medical condition, an electric wheelchair might be a more suitable option. They offer many of the same benefits as mobility scooters but are designed to be even easier to use and control.

Outdoor Mobility Scooter

The 4-wheeled Scout from Drive Medical is not an all-terrain vehicle, but it has enough stability and power to deal with grass, small curbs, and other minor obstacles found away from smooth tiled mall floors.

The 4 wheels prevent it from tipping as easily as the 3-wheeled design, but this also widens its turning radius by about 20%, so it may be less convenient indoors or in other tight spaces.

This electric mobility scooter comes with many of the same features found in high-end models but at a much more affordable cost.

Pros:

  1. Stable – It will not tip over when turning at speed or on a slope.
  2. Easily disassembled – This electric mobility scooter breaks into 5, lightweight, convenient pieces with only one to two minutes of work
  3. Upgradeable battery – If a 9-mile range is not good enough, upgrade to the larger battery size for a 15-mile range.
  4. Batteries are gel, lead acid and safe to take on planes and boats
  5. Well designed – The design is well thought out and intuitive.
  6. Batteries are chargeable attached or detached from the mobility scooter.

Cons:

  1. Larger turning radius – It might be inconvenient for use in small home spaces.
  2. Low clearance – The 2.5” ground clearance does not leave much room for bumps or obstacles to pass underneath.
  3. Small wheels - It does not do very well in snow, slush, or sand.
  4. No suspension – Cobbled streets or rocky ground will be very bumpy.
  5. Visibility - The reflector on the back is a bit small, and there are no built in lights.

Specifications:

  • Turning Radius: 53.75”
  • Max Climbing Angle: 6 degrees
  • Top Speed: 4.25mph (6.84kph) on level ground
  • Ground Clearance: 2.5 in
  • Seat Dimensions: 16.5 inch W x 13.5 inch D (42 x 34 cm)
  • Weight Capacity: 300lbs (136 kg)
  • Motor: 24V, 270W, 4700rpm
  • Weight: 94lbs. Breaks into 5 pieces, heaviest piece is 58 lbs (26.3 kg)
  • Battery: 2, clip-in, 12V batteries 12ah. Can be upgraded to 20ah batteries for extended range. Must buy larger housing for larger battery
  • Charge Time: 8 to 12 hrs
  • Range: 12ah batteries: 9 mile (14.5 km) 20ah batteries: 15 mile (24 km)

Notes:

  1. Once the mobility scooter is assembled, the wheels need to be unlocked. To unlock the wheels, make sure that the red lever at the rear of the scooter is in the Freewheel position. Then, at the front of the scooter, find the knob at the base of the steering shaft that says lock and unlock. Pull the knob out and turn it to the unlock position.
  2. This electric mobility scooter scooter has 3 different height adjustments. The chair arms have both adjustable width and height.
  3. Accessories like oxygen tanks or walkers can be attached to this electric mobility scooter. Heavy accessories like oxygen tanks should be included in the 300lb weight capacity

Indoor Electric Mobility Scooter

In many respects, 3-wheeled mobility scooters are comparable to those with 4 wheels, but mobility scooters with 3 wheels have an advantage in close spaces with tight corners like at home.

The 3-wheeled mobility scooters are most useful on perfectly smooth floors and asphalt. Off the beaten path, however, they will be hard pressed to deal with even small bumps and curbs.

Pros:

  1. Tight turning radius - At 45”, the turning radius is perfect for the indoors.
  2. More leg room - The single centered front wheel frees up space for your feet on either side of the steering shaft.
  3. Gel lead acid batteries make the scooter safe for boats and planes.
  4. Batteries can be charged connected or separate from the mobility scooter.
  5. Easy to disassemble - Breaks into 5 pieces and takes about 2 minutes to reassemble
  6. Upgradable battery - The battery can be upgraded from a 9 mile to a 15 mile range.

Cons:

  1. Stability – It may tip when turning at speed or on a grade.
  2. Short ground clearance – The ground clearance is only 2.5 in (6.35 cm)
  3. It has difficulty with any terrain that is not smooth.
  4. No lights – Just one small reflector on the back.

Specifications:

  • Turning Radius: 45”
  • Max Climbing Angle: 6 degrees
  • Top Speed: 4.25mph (6.84kph) on level ground
  • Ground Clearance: 2.5”
  • Seat Dimensions: 16.5” width x 13.5” depth (42 x 34 cm)
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs (136kg)
  • Motor: 24V, 270W, 4700rpm
  • Weight: 85lbs. Breaks into 5 pieces with the heaviest piece being 49 lbs (22 kg)
  • Battery: 2, clip-in, 12V batteries 12ah. Upgrading to 20ah batteries will extend the range, but a larger battery housing is required for the larger batteries.
  • Charging Duration: 8 to 12 hours
  • Range: 9 miles. Can be extended to 15 miles with larger batteries
  • There is a universal 1 in (2.5 cm) hitch for accessories like an oxygen tank holder, but keep in mind that heavy accessories like oxygen tanks should be included in the maximum weight capacity.

    Heavy Use Outdoor Scooter

    The 4-wheeled BuzzAround Extreme from Golden Technologies is rugged by mobility scooter standards. With suspension, larger wheels, better tread, higher ground clearance, higher weight capacity, a larger battery, and a more powerful motor, the BuzzAround Extreme is the ideal electric mobility scooter for when living life demands more than short shopping trips on smooth floors.

    Although the BuzzAround Extreme comes in both 3-wheeled and 4-wheeled models, the 3-wheeled model is usually unnecessary. The benefits of the BuzzAround Extreme come from its aptitude outdoors on grass, gravel, and other uneven surfaces.

    The main benefit of a 3-wheeled electric mobility scooter is the tight turning radius which is usually not a factor outdoors. If the scooter will mostly be for indoor use, I recommend the 3-wheeled Scout as it is more affordable, lighter weight, and the battery is upgradeable to a 15 mile range.

    Pros:

    1. Stable - It is difficult to tip over when turning at speed or on a slope.
    2. Suspension - This electric mobility scooter comes with built-in suspension for curbs and bumpy rides
    3. Long range - 18 mile (29 km) range on level ground
    4. Batteries are gel, lead acid and safe to take on planes and boats
    5. Built-in front-facing LED light
    6. High weight capacity (330 lb/150 kg)
    7. High top speed (5 mph/8 kph)
    8. High ground clearance (4 in/10 cm)

    Cons:

    1. Larger turning radius - It might be inconvenient for use in small home spaces.
    2. Expensive - The extra features cost more
    3. Heavy - The heaviest piece of the scooter is 53 lb (24 kg)
    4. Bulky - Even though the scooter breaks apart, it may be difficult to fit in the trunk of a small car.
    5. Batteries can only be charged while attached to the scooter.

    Specifications:

    • Rear wheeled drive
    • Turning Radius: 56 in (142 cm)
    • Max Climbing Angle: 6 degrees
    • Top Speed: 5 mph (8 kph) on level ground
    • Ground Clearance: 4 in (10 cm)
    • Seat Dimensions: 18 in width x 16 in depth x16 in height (46 x 41 x 41 cm). The seat can be upgraded to 20 x 18 x 16 inches (51 x 46 x 41 cm)
    • Weight Capacity: 330 lbs (150 kg)
    • Weight: 155 lbs (70 kg) Breaks into 5 pieces, heaviest piece is 53 lbs (24 kg)
    • Battery: 2, clip-in, 12V batteries
    • Range: 18 miles (29 km)
    • Tires: 9 in (23 cm) The standard solid rubber tires can be upgraded to pneumatic tires on the 4-wheeled version.
    • Accessories like oxygen tanks or walkers can be attached to the back of the mobility scooter. Heavy accessories like oxygen tanks should be included in the 330 lb (150 kg) weight capacity

    Notes:

    1. The mobility scooter will not run on 1 battery. Both batteries must be attached.
    2. There are small anti-tip wheels in the back to prevent the scooter from falling backwards going up inclines.
    3. This electric mobility scooter scooter has 3 different height adjustments. The chair arms have both adjustable width and height.
    4. Comes with a 1-year hassle free in home service plan

    Fast-Paced Road Scooter

    If you do not want an "old man" scooter, the EW-36 is the ride for you. It is no Ferrari, but topping out at 15 - 18 miles per hour on level ground with a 43 mile range, it certainly has more oomph than other electric mobility scooters on the market. Unlike the other electric mobility scooters we reviewed, the EW-36 comes with the proper lights, horn, and mirrors to be street legal like a moped.

    Although it moves fast enough to make ten mile trips, it also has a max throttle dial that will keep you from accidentally running people down in the mall. Overall, it has a good combination of distance, speed, and control for outdoor activities and running errands. It may be a bit bulky for in-home use.

    Pros:

    1. Street Legal - The scooter comes equipped with the proper lights, horn, signals, and mirrors for driving on the road.
    2. Suspension - Both the front and back wheels come with built in suspension
    3. Long Range - 43 mile (69 km) range on level ground
    4. High Weight Capacity (350 lb/159 kg)
    5. High Top Speed (15 mph/24 kph)
    6. High Ground Clearance (5 in/13 cm)
    7. Anti-Theft Alarm

    Cons:

    1. Expensive - The extra speed, range, and features drive up the price
    2. Heavy - At 219 lbs (99 kg) with batteries, this is much heavier than the Scout electrical mobility scooters
    3. Bulky - The scooter does not break apart like some of the smaller models.
    4. The batteries remain attached to the scooter while charging.

    Specifications:

    • Turning Radius: 50 in (127 cm)
    • Rear wheeled drive
    • Top Speed: 15 mph (24 kph) on level ground
    • Max Climbing Angle: 7 degrees
    • Seat Dimensions: 18 in width x 18 in depth x 34 in height (46 x 46 x 86 cm)
    • Ground Clearance: 5 in (13 cm)
    • Weight: 219 lbs (99 kg)
    • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs (159 kg)
    • Range: 43 miles (69 km)
    • Battery: 4, built-in, 12V batteries (48V scooter)
    • Tires: 16 in x 2.5 in (40.5 x 6.3 cm) Pneumatic tires
    • Power: 500 W motor
    • Front and rear shock absorbers

    Notes:

    1. Comes with a limited 3-year warranty.
    2. Can withstand light rain, but should not be gotten wet.
    3. Comes with digital anti-theft alarm.
    4. Comes fully assembled and ready to ride on a pallet.

    Electric Scooter Accessories

    If you are purchasing a new electric mobility scooter, there are some popular accessories that can make your scooter easier to use and allow you to use it in a wider variety of circumstances.

    Rear Basket

    Rear basket

    Mobility scooters usually come with a small front basket for your personal things, but when you need extra carrying capacity for things like groceries, a rear basket can be very useful.

    • Dimensions: 15 x 10.25 x 9.75 in (38 x 26 x 25 cm)
    • Comes with reflectors for visibility.
    • Attaches to universal accessory holder on all Scout, BuzzAround, Pride electric scooters
    • Holding pin with adjustable bracket is included

    Easy Access Arm Bag

    An arm bag on the side of your chair gives you easy access to any small accessories you carry daily like a wallet, glasses, a phone, etc.

    • Zippered pocket with easy to pull zipper cord
    • Open mesh pockets
    • Adjustable straps

    Oxygen Tank Holder

    Oxygen cylinder tank
    • Universal attachment for most scooters and chairs.
    • For size D and E oxygen tanks
    • Thumb screw tightens the canister in the holder
    • Attaches to the 1 in (2.5 cm) bracket receiver on the scooter

    Mobility Scooter Storage Cover

    • Polyester fabric with a water repellent coating
    • 48L x 22W x (38 back, 30 front)H inches (122 x 56 x 97 cm)
    • Elastic bottom hem with adjustable strap for snug fit

    Safety Flag

    You will need zip ties or a different adapter to attach this to a mobility scooter as it is meant for a bike, but scooter-specific flags are more expensive and do exactly the same job.

    • 3-piece, 6 ft (1.8m) pole
    • Orange flag for visibility

    Safety Recommendations

    Even though scooters have wheels, they are not considered a vehicle in the eyes of the law. When driving on a roadway, your scooter should be on the far left of the road facing traffic. Use pedestrian crosswalks and other road signs as if you were walking. Electric mobility scooters are also not for use in bike lanes.

    Visibility

    Sitting in a mobility scooter, you are shorter than normal and less visible to those around you, especially to larger vehicles like trucks and vans. Make yourself more visible by attaching reflectors to the front back and sides of your scooter. You can also attach a fluorescent red flag antenna to the back to make you more visible to larger vehicles.

    Mobility Scooter - HPIM1951

    Even if you do not plan on driving at night, put lights on the front and back of your electric mobility scooter. Sometimes unexpected circumstances can hold you out past dusk, and once you need the lights, it is already too late.

    Public Transportation

    Scooter accessibility differs depending on where you live, but many public transportation methods are built for wheeled access.

    Contact your local transportation authority to find out what options are available to you. On the transportation authority website, they should list the maximum outside dimensions for scooters. Also, check special transportation services that may operate in your area. Often special buses with handicapped lifts are available.

    Tips and Suggestions

    1. Purchase a carport power adapter that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter, so that you can charge your electric mobility scooter’s battery while driving.
    2. When you first get your electric mobility scooter, give yourself some extra time to get where you are going. It can take some time to get used to following wheel accessible paths.
    3. Keeping your lead acid scooter batteries fully charged will make them last longer.

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