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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Types of Electric Wheelchairs

The development of the electric wheelchair is perhaps the biggest help to people whom walking is difficult or impossible. Wheelchairs help people with mobility disabilities to regain some of their independence and freedom. The two main types of wheelchairs currently available on the market are elctric wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs.

To propel manual wheelchairs, the user must turn or push the steel tube hand rims on the outside of the wheels or with the help of a care person or friend they can be pushed. The wheels of electric wheelchairs, on the other hand, are propelled by motors.

Electric wheelchairs are much heavier not only because of the added weight of the motor and battery but also because the frames have to be sturdier and more stable so as to support additional working parts.

The complexity of electric wheelchairs differ widely - from wheelchairs equipped with standard batteries and joy-stick controllers to wheelchairs that have microprocessor controlled robotic circuitry allowing the chair to balance and move on only two of its four wheels.

Prices of electric wheelchairs can vary dramatically depending on user requirements and the standard of wheelchair that is needed. The more complex the electric wheelchair, the more costly it gets. Standard electric wheelchairs may cost around £700 and the most complex as much as £15,000. Most users find the average cost of £900 for a reliable electric wheelchair practicable.

Electric Wheelchair Propulsion:

  • Rear-wheel drive
    is the most common propulsion style for electric wheelchairs. The wheelchair travels fast but maneuverability may be a bit limited.

  • Mid-wheel drive
    provides outstanding maneuverability but the wheelchair can be unstable during starts and stops.

  • Front-wheel drive
    compared to rear-wheel drive, makes for a slower wheelchair with good maneuverability.

When purchasing an electric wheelchair, consider trustworthy brands available from licensed dealers. This gives the assurance of full coverage in case the unit requires servicing. Users are cautioned against purchasing used electric wheelchairs as they may bear critical damage such as broken frames, depleted motors and/or defective batteries.

When choosing among the various types of electric wheelchairs, take ample time shopping around and comparing wheelchairs. Ask dealers for product information in order to get more of the pertinent details needed to make an informed purchase decision.

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