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FAQ & Safety Tips

Everything you need to know about electric wheelchairs and mobility device in Malaysia

Who needs an electric wheelchair?

An electric wheelchair uses batteries to move the chair. Unlike manual wheelchairs that require the user’s strength or caregivers to propel, electric power wheelchairs are operated via a joystick or some other type of controller to drive movement. People living with physical challenges of any kind caused by aging, injury, disability, or illness, can benefit from the use of a motorized wheelchair.

Who can use an electric wheelchair?

Electric wheelchair are used by

  • people who can’t walk, or
  • have difficulty in moving around,
  • need the power to get around on their own.

The most common reasons why someone you love might want one of these chairs include:

  • An elderly person who can no longer manage stairs or long distances on foot
  • Someone with chronic pain, such as arthritis, that makes it difficult to stand up
  • A person with a disability who is unable to walk for any distance
  • A person with an injury to their spinal cord or brain, such as stroke which cause paralysis in some limbs;
  • Someone who needs help getting around for short distances
  • An older adult whose balance is impaired and cannot walk more than a few steps without assistance
  • Someone recovering from surgery that leaves them temporarily unable to walk
  • People who are paralyzed from the waist down but still have some movement in their upper body
  • Anyone who has difficulty walking due to illness or medical condition (such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis)
  • Anyone living independently with low self-care abilities or limited physical capabilities
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which causes muscle weakness and numbness;
  • Cerebral palsy – where brain damage impairs movement control over part of your body from birth;

and many other conditions too!

How Much Weight Motorized Wheelchairs Can Support?

Most electric wheelchairs are made of steel, so ideal weights are around 100 to 120 kilogram. Some motorized wheelchairs may hold less than mentioned, and some may hold more, so this really depends on the model.

How to clean an electric wheelchair?

Refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions for the best way to clean and maintain your power wheelchair. It is a good idea to wipe down the seat and frame of the wheelchair with a soft, dry cloth, never using any abrasive chemicals or solvent, which can damage the wheelchair’s electronics. Don’t use water or sprays on electrical components, and be sure to immediately address any spills.

Can electric wheelchairs get wet?

Sometimes it is unavoidable, such as an unexpected rain while you are out and about, or the only available path is filled with puddles, and you should not get your power wheelchair wet. Short-term exposure to water won’t usually cause a problem, and most quality manufacturers design their power wheelchairs to protect against water contact You should always dry the wheelchair with a towel when it comes in contact with water or other liquid. A rusted frame, corroded electrical components, and major malfunction with the wheelchair could result from direct or long term water exposure.

How heavy are electric wheelchairs?

The weight of the wheelchair is related to the batteries, motor and accessories. The weight ranges from 23 to 113 KG.

Do electric wheelchairs fold up?

Today’s electric wheelchairs are designed to fit into a vehicle and fold for a smaller size. Other designs make it easy to disassemble into smaller, more lightweight parts that are easier to carry and store.

What is the average speed of an electric wheelchair?

Most electric wheelchairs have an average speed of 8 km per hour for outdoor travel and recommend using lower speeds for safer indoor use. An electric wheelchair with a top speed of 16 kmh can be used by active users.

How long does an electric wheelchair last on a charge?

Electric wheelchairs can last up to 18 hours with a driving range of up to 20 km. The range and distance of your electric wheelchair can be affected by a number of factors.

  • Battery type, state, and age
  • Users weight
  • Terrain of travel

Battery Type, State, and Age

If you use a lithium battery, this battery tends to last longer than a lead-acid battery. Lithium battery tends to last longer also due to their bigger life span.

Users Weight

The weight of the rider can affect the speed and range of the mobility device, as it affects the stress placed on the batteries and motors to generate the required energy to move the device.

Terrain of Travel

 

 

 Uneven terrains may slow down your mobility device

Uneven terrains may slow down your mobility device

The electric wheelchair can be slowed down by rough terrain as there is an additional strain on the batteries and motors. The right electric wheelchair can cater to your needs.

Why are some electric wheelchair so expensive (RM2000 above), but some are cheaper?

A vast difference in pricing depends on the battery used whether it is lead-acid or lithium. Wheelchairs that use a lead-acid can be charged for up to one year, but those who use lithium batteries are able to charge for two and even three years!

How Often Should I Charge the Batteries?

 

 

Charge your device one every week regardless of use.

If the mobility device is left unused, you should charge the batteries every week. You can read the user manual for further instructions.

When Should I Replace the Batteries to My Electric Wheelchair?

The batteries can potentially last for two years with proper maintenance and light usage. It is dependent on usage and maintenance. The batteries should be changed every year to make sure they are safe and in good shape for the equipment. If your electric wheelchair is having problems, it may be time to change your batteries.

  • Gradual or sudden loss of power
  • A decrease in traveling distance
  • External damage to the batteries
  • Visible effects of wear and tear

Can I bring my electric wheelchair on board an airplane?

Yes, but your electric wheelchair must be checked in. Airlines like MAS or Air Asia accept battery-operated wheelchairs and mobility devices, but they must fulfil certain conditions. It should be able to fold up and be a dry cell sealed battery.

How Will My Electric Wheelchair Be Transported Via AirAsia?

Wheelchairs and mobility devices with batteries are not allowed as cabin baggage. The batteries must be handled according to their type in order for it to be accepted as Checked Baggage.

To make sure that AirAsia can handle the battery appropriately, you need to give us as much information as possible about your wheelchair’s specifications by submitting this form (link). When filling out the form, please include the booking number as well.

You can submit the form by contacting AirAsia via (AVA) 48 hours prior to your departure time

Please refer to the table below for more information on how the wheelchair’s battery should be handled.

Non-lithium Lithium
Handling of Battery

– The batteries must be protected from short circuit by insulating the terminals (for example, by taping over exposed terminals);
– The batteries must be securely attached to the wheelchair/mobility device;
– The electrical circuits of the batteries must have been inhibited to prevent any accidental activation; and
– Any “on/off” switch must be in the “off” position

Please note: A battery will not be accepted if it is leaking, cracked, ruptured, dead, or damaged

The power rating of the lithium-ion battery must not exceed 300Wh, or for a device that is fitted with two batteries required for operation, the power rating of each lithium-ion battery must not exceed 160Wh;

How to calculate your battery power?

For example, if your electric wheelchair uses 24V12Ah Lithium Battery , 24 x 12 = 288Wh. Thus it will not exceed 300wh limit.

Fresco Bike has a few electric wheelchair that conform to the international standard which is is 24V6Ah Lithium battery. 24 x 6 = 144Wh. They are the ones that have a green battery sticker on the battery.

A maximum of one spare lithium battery not exceeding 300Wh, or two spares each not exceeding 160Wh, may be carried in the passenger cabin of the aircraft in an appropriate manufacturer-issued battery pouch.

Please note: A battery will not be accepted if it is leaking, cracked, ruptured, dead, damaged, the battery mark or the battery mark label or user manual is not in English. The label must be clearly visible.

Check-in The battery will remain attached to the electric wheelchair and the electric wheelchair with attached battery will be handed in at the check-in counter to be transported as Checked Baggage. To assist our staff with processing your battery-poweredwheelchair/mobility device,you must bring with you;
1. The test document that shows the lithium-ion battery meets the requirements of subsection 38.3, part III of the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria; and
An appropriate manufacturer-issued battery pouch. However, AirAsia can provide the pouch if required or you do not have one.
2. AirAsia will remove the battery at the check-in counter and you will carry the battery in an appropriate manufacturer-issued battery pouch to the cabin. The electric wheelchair will be handed in at the check-in counter to be transported as Checked Baggage
Bringing Lithium & non-Lithium battery Electric Wheelchair onboard AirAsia

NOTE: Passengers with specific requirements may check-in online, but we recommend to check-in at the airport so that we can help with their needs. If you choose to check-in online, you need to present yourself at the check-in counter at the airport so that we can accommodate your needs.

Can I bring my electric wheelchair to umrah?

Yes, provided that the wheelchair you use is accepted by the airlines you use. Please check with your airlines first, as each airline has its own requirements. Most worship places in Makkah are wheelchair friendly.

Can electric wheelchairs get fixed or repaired?

Repairs may be needed for your electric wheelchair if you use it every day. Your provider can help with anything from a simple comfort adjustment to more complex issues. The electric wheelchair needs regular service checks.

This is one of the great benefits of buying a wheelchair from a reputable company in Malaysia. Most people make the mistake of buying an electric wheelchair from a seller who doesn’t offer repair service. They are stuck with a broken wheelchair and need to buy a new one.

Just give Fresco bike a call, and they’ll look into it for you.

What’s the difference between an electric wheelchair and mobility scooters?

There are several differences.

Firstly, the scooter is smaller and more compact than an electric wheelchair so it has a tighter turning radius and can generally fit through narrower spaces. It’s also easier to store because of its size.

The scooters battery life also lasts longer than some electric wheelchairs do, typically about 20 miles on a single charge depending on speed.

Secondly, you’re able to take it outside with little problem while electric wheelchairs would need adapters for going off the pavement or concrete.

Finally, a mobility scooter does not have as many bells and whistles in terms of comfort features that an electric wheelchair might have like armrests or padded seats but then again the goal of these vehicles is primarily

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