Views: 3 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-09-16 Origin: Site
Electric wheelchairs that can fold provide users with the best of both worlds - the ease and independence of powered mobility combined with the convenience of a chair that can be quickly folded for storage or transport. This guide covers everything you need to know about folding electric wheelchairs.
Folding electric wheelchairs deliver powered mobility with the flexibility of a folding design. Key features include:
Portability - Fold up into a compact size for transport in cars or air travel
Convenience - Save storage space at home and avoid constantly transferring to a manual chair
Independence - Powered operation for self-propelled movement and range
Configurability - Available in front, mid or rear-wheel drive with options
Customization - Can accommodate specialized seating systems and adaptations
Folding electric wheelchairs combine the perks of both manual and power chairs. Let's look at the details.
Table 1: Folding Electric Wheelchair Benefits
|Powered mobility||Electric motor drives the chair - no manual propulsion needed|
|Folding design||Frame folds up into a compact unit for storage and transport|
|Flexible usage||Alternate between power and manual chairs when needed|
|Independence||Users can move around freely without assistance|
|Portability||Fits in small spaces at home and can be taken along when traveling|
|Convenience||Avoid transferring to a manual chair whenever leaving the powered one|
|Range||Travel longer distances compared to manual wheelchairs|
|Configurability||Available with front, mid or rear wheel drive options|
|Custom seating||Accommodate specialized seating systems or customizations|
Folding electric wheelchairs have a metal frame construction with composite plastic components. The main elements are:
Foldable aluminum or steel frame - Makes the chair collapsible for storage and transport when folded
Wheels - Typically include two large rear wheels and two smaller front casters
Electric motor - Provides powered driving of the wheels
Batteries - Removable batteries to power the motor
Controller - Controls motor speed and direction
Seat and backrest - Mounted on the frame to support the user
Legrests - Adjustable leg rests for comfort and support
Armrests - Flip-back or removable armrests for transfers
Additional optional components can include headrests, cushions, trays, crutch/cane holders, oxygen tank holders, etc.
Table 2: Folding Electric Wheelchair Composition
|Frame||Foldable aluminum or steel frame|
|Drive Wheels||Large rear wheels powered by motor|
|Caster Wheels||Smaller front wheels for steering|
|Electric Motor||Provides powered mobility when driving wheels|
|Batteries||Removable to power the wheelchair|
|Controller||Controls motor speed and direction|
|Seat and Backrest||Mounted on frame to support user|
|Legrests||Adjustable legrests for comfort and support|
|Armrests||Flip-back or removable armrests for transfers|
Folding electric wheelchairs are available in different sizes, capacities, and parameters. Typical specifications are:
Table 3: Folding Electric Wheelchair Specifications
|Weight capacity||Up to 300 lbs|
|Top speed||Up to 6 mph|
|Range per charge||Up to 20 miles|
|Ground clearance||1.5" to 3.5"|
|Turning radius||32" to 39"|
|Overall length||33" to 44"|
|Overall width||23" to 27"|
|Folded dimensions||As small as 14" x 12" x 36"|
|Seat dimensions||16" to 22" width x 16" to 20" depth|
|Seat to floor height||17" to 21"|
|Front caster wheel size||6" to 10"|
|Drive wheel size||10" to 14"|
|Total weight||75 to 140 lbs|
|Battery voltage||24V to 40V|
|Battery capacity||10Ah to 20Ah|
|Motor power||200W to 350W|
Folding electric wheelchairs are available with front, mid or rear wheel drive configurations:
Motor in front wheel hub
Better traction and torque for inclines
Tighter turning radius
Central motor and drive wheels
Balanced stability and maneuverability
Medium turning radius
Motor in rear wheel hub
Faster top speed on flat surfaces
Wider turning radius
Table 4: Folding Electric Wheelchair Drive Types
|Front-Wheel||Better traction, inclines<br>Tight turning||Reduced top speed|
|Mid-Wheel||Balanced stability and maneuverability||Not specialized for any condition|
|Rear-Wheel||Higher top speed<br>Less mechanical noise||Wider turning radius <br>Less traction|
Folding power chairs get their electrical power from batteries. Typical options are:
Lithium Ion - Lightweight, long range, fast charging
Sealed Lead Acid - Lower cost, heavier, longer charge times
Gel Cell - Reliable performance, moderate weight
Higher voltage batteries allow higher speeds and longer range per charge. Higher capacity Ah provides more runtime.
Table 5: Folding Electric Wheelchair Battery Options
|Lithium Ion||Lightweight, long range, fast charging||Higher cost|
|Sealed Lead Acid||Lower cost, readily available||Heavy, slower recharge|
|Gel Cell||Reliable performance, safer||Medium weight, cost|
In addition to standard folding power chairs, specialty designs are available including:
Heavy Duty - For users up to 400 or 500 lbs
Reclining - Power reclining backrest for comfort
Standing - Power standing function for health benefits
Pediatric - Designed for children, smaller in size
Table 6: Types of Specialty Folding Electric Wheelchairs
|Heavy Duty||For users up to 400 or 500 lbs|
|Reclining||Power reclining backrest|
|Standing||Power standing function|
|Pediatric||Designed for children|
Folding wheelchairs are available in both manual and power versions. How do they compare?
Table 7: Manual vs. Power Folding Wheelchairs
|Feature||Manual Folding||Power Folding|
|Weight||Lighter, 15-30 lbs||Heavier, 60-100 lbs|
|Folding||More compact when folded||Takes up more space|
|Maintenance||Minimal||Occasional battery and motor maintenance|
|Range||Unlimited push distance||Up to 15-20 miles per charge|
|Cost||Lower, $100-$300||Higher, $1000-$5000|
|Transfers||Easier to transfer in and out||Heavier, harder for transfers|
Here are some tips for using folding power chairs safely and effectively:
Charge batteries fully each night for daily use
Minimize folding cycles to avoid damage to wires
Check tire pressures regularly, front and rear
Perform periodic maintenance checks per manufacturer
Adjust legrests for proper body positioning
Position and fasten securely before driving
Avoid steep inclines or declines if unsafe
Be aware of pinch points when folding
Engage wheel locks when stopped
Fold slowly and cautiously
Regular safety checks and learning proper driving techniques are advised. Also consult qualified technicians for repairs.
To keep folding power chairs functioning properly:
Fully recharge batteries after each use
Check tire tread and air pressure monthly
Keep motors and gears free of dirt, hair and debris
Inspect frame, wheels and moving parts for looseness or damage
Keep batteries corrosion-free and terminals clean
Avoid exposure to moisture, extreme cold or heat
Lubricate moving parts as specified by manufacturer
Ensure controllers are functioning properly
Test brakes and check for unusual noises/vibrations
Follow all manufacturer maintenance guidelines
Proper cleaning, storage and battery care will maintain performance. Protect vital components from moisture.
Q: How compact do they fold?
A: When folded, dimensions can be as small as 14” wide x 12” deep x 36” high. They fold into a narrow width for easy transportation.
Q: Can I take it on an airplane?
A: Yes, most can be checked at the gate or stowed with luggage if the batteries are airline-approved. Check airline policies.
Q: How heavy are folding electric wheelchairs?
A: Weights range from 75 to 140 lbs. Heavier than manual chairs, but foldability compensates when transporting.
Q: What add-ons are available?
A: Add-ons include crutch holders, oxygen tank holders, cushions, headrests, trays, specialty controls, and custom seating systems.
Q: How long does the battery last?
A: Average range per charge is 15-20 miles. Battery life depends on user weight, terrain, driving style.
Q: Can they be used outdoors?
A: Yes, folding power chairs work well outdoors. Front and mid-wheel drive provide good traction on rougher terrain.
Q: How much assembly is required out of the box?
A: Minimal assembly is required. Users must install the seat, backrest, batteries and maybe legrests when unpacking a new unit.
Q: What kind of warranty do they come with?
A: Expect a limited lifetime warranty on the frame, 1 year on electronics, 18 months on drivetrain components. Batteries 6-12 months.
Q: Can I get a custom seating system?
A: Yes, many providers can install custom seating, cushions, supports and adaptations suited to an individual user's needs.
Combine powered mobility with foldable portability
Available in front, mid or rear-wheel drive configurations
Fold compactly for storage at home or when traveling
Provide independence and avoid manually propelling a chair
configurable with many seating and accessory options
Require minimal maintenance if cared for properly
Offer users flexibility between manual and power chairs
Folding electric wheelchairs deliver the best qualities of manual chairs and power chairs. For those wanting compact storage or portability along with the perks of power mobility, a folding power chair can provide the ideal solution.