Few things in life are as frustrating as a lost or damaged scooter charger when your batteries are low. The electric scooter charger is more than an accessory; it is an essential part of the machine; as vital as the gas pump is to the vehicle driver. Please note that although this article is written primarily about the electric scooter battery charger units used on small recreational scooters like the various Currie, Razor, and other models; Much of the information below is applicable to many electric mobility scooter models as well. The popular gasoline-powered motor scooters such as the Vespa, Honda or KYMCO types use standard motorcycle or light-duty automotive chargers with alligator clip connectors.
Every new scooter comes with an owner's manual, and the manufacturer's recommendations should always be followed. If the manual is unavailable, the next step should be an online search; Many manufacturers 'websites contain model specification data charts, owners' manuals and other information that can be downloaded as PDF documents. If an online search proves fruitless, there is still another method that will provide a usable "guesstimation" of just what battery charger would work best for their scooter. The three primary criteria are: connector type, voltage, and amperage.
Perhaps the most vital yet confusing aspect of determining which electric scooter battery charger is correct for your scooter is the multiplicity of charger-to-scooter connector types. Unfortunately there has never been a single industry-wide standard to regulate the electrical connectors on scooter chargers. Until this state of affairs changes, there are at least eight styles in common use:
- 2-prong Female, not as common as the 3-prong style, this is still found on some smaller scooters
- 3-prong Female, identified by its three holes in a triangle, this is the most common connector for stand-up scooters
- Coaxial, most are 5.5mm outside diameter – 2.1mm inside diameter plug; however BladeZ scooters used a proprietary 5.5mm outside diameter – 2.5mm inside diameter plug
- XLR, very similar to the metal-shrouded connectors used in home audio and theater applications, the durable XLR connector is used many electric recreational, mobility scooters and power chairs
- 3-pin Shrouded Female (IEC C13), used primarily on electric bicycles, this is the familiar desktop computer power connector with three vertical slots
- Modified 3-pin Shrouded Female, almost identical to the IEC C13, this e-bike connector is identified by a horizontal slot above the two vertical slots
- Flat 4-pin, similar to that used for trailers, these connectors are mainly used on kids power ride-on toys (Power Wheels-type)
- Direct Connect, these are the familiar alligator clip style that attach directly to your battery terminals
- Adapters are available to match some dissimilar types of male and female connectors
Just like in a common household flashlight, electric scooter batteries work by being wired together; all cells discharging their energy together and adding to the total sum of voltage. With the exception of a few 48 volt X-Treme and reverse-polarity Panterra models, almost all scooters use a 24 volt or 36 volt electrical system. If the proper voltage can not be read off of the side of the electric motor's housing, then simply count the batteries. Two 12 volt batteries equal a 24 volt system; three batteries signify 36 volt, etc.
The amperage output of an electric scooter battery charger determines how fast the charging unit does its job. Shown as Amp Hour (Ah) ratings, the larger or more amperage output; the faster the recharge cycle. However the increase in amps also increases the size and cost of the charger. Additionally, a charger that is "too hot" for a low-amp battery runs the risk of overheating, damaging, or even destroying the battery. Conversely, a low-amp charger will probably take forever to charge a high-amp battery. The following list can be used to reach a workable happy medium between these extremes:
- 5 – 6 Ah battery, uses a 0.4 – 1.0 Ah charger
- 7 Ah battery uses a 1.0 – 2.0 Ah charger
- 9 – 10 Ah battery uses a 1.5 – 2.0 Ah charger
- 12 Ah battery uses a 1.5 – 4.0 Ah charger
- 18 Ah battery uses a 1.5 – 5.0 Ah charger
- 31-35 Ah (or U1) battery uses a 3.0 – 8.0 Ah charger
- 50 – 55 Ah (or 22NF) battery uses a 5.0 – 8.0 Ah charger
- 75 – 110 Ah battery uses an 8.0 Ah charger
Mobility Scooters and Power Chairs
Many makes and models of mobility scooters and power chairs use a factory-installed, on-board electric scooter battery charger specifically designed for that mobility device. These manufacturers' OEM parts should always be replaced with an identical unit from the scooter dealer, or from an online retailer of mobility scooter parts. Please check your owner's manual before installing an on-board charger.
Source by Andre Easter