Electric Wheelchairs: Review of the Most Popular Models of 2016

Electric wheelchair: driving without propelling

Electric wheelchair: driving without propelling

Life’s ultimate limitations are usually the limits in our minds that we have control over. For people who have physical limitations, the boundaries of control and a more independent way of living is much wider now thanks to assistive technology, such as electric wheelchairs.

Electric Wheelchairs

The Electric Wheelchair, or also known as the Power wheelchair has made it possible for people who find it difficult or are not able to use a manual wheelchair to maneuver their way around.

Compared to a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchairs differ mainly in having an electric wheelchair motor and battery that gives its user enough daily mobility. These electric wheelchairs come in many types, models, and brands depending on different individual needs. In the end, choosing the best electric wheelchair will depend on the various features that the user is going to find useful for their daily activities.

 Electric Wheelchair Types

One of the core features that usually underlines the difference between one electric wheelchair model with another is the type of wheel drive the user will be needing. There are three different types of wheel drives: rear, mid, and front.

Rear wheel drives are usually when the drive wheels are at the rear end of the wheelchair. That creates a more stable ride that feels smooth when used outdoors, especially at higher speeds.

The mid wheel drive or center wheel drive means that this model uses drive wheels that are positioned either in the middle or at the center of the wheelchair base. Very opposite to the rear drive model, this vehicle is better used indoors as it has a much smaller turning circle.

On the other hand, front wheel drive wheelchairs have their wheel drives at the front base of the vehicle. That makes the wheelchair practical for going through uneven terrains and softer surfaces.

 Electric Wheelchair Models

Just as there are three different wheel drives, there are also three groups of electric wheelchair models: portable, light rehab, and customized. Each model group is not merely about the vehicle’s outer dimensions but also considers weight, material, features, and portability.

The Portable electric wheelchair is mainly designed for reduced range uses that will not need long sitting time. As the name goes, this could be the best electric wheelchair for users who will frequently travel using motor vehicles and thus needs to be very lightweight and also easy to disassemble. Having to be very portable, they usually have a smaller electric wheelchair battery and made to ride well on smooth surfaces and indoor use, like going to shopping centers.

Different to the portable model, the light rehab group of wheelchairs is mainly suitable at home for daily use. This light rehab electric wheelchair is much more stable because it has bigger wheels and higher ground clearance. The wheelchair battery is also larger for longer range use around the home. In a practical sense, even though you could take it apart, a lifting system is often needed when used for traveling in motor vehicles.

The third group is a more customized range of electric wheelchairs in where all the main features are tailored to support specific needs of the user. Whether it be custom sized chairs that have motorized reclining capabilities or larger batteries and higher power motors for greater range, this group of customized wheelchairs are usually high end and need careful consultation in making the best choice.

 Best Electric Wheelchair Brands

Many companies that have developed their versions of electric wheelchairs have produced a wide variety of options that users can buy. Over the years, many favorite brands such as InvacareQuickie, and Pride, all have offered a huge range of electric wheelchairs with different features and capabilities. Here are some of the best brands and their models currently available on the market.

 Jazzy Electric Wheelchairs

Jazzy Air Power Wheelchair


This power wheelchair from Jazzy can carry 300 lbs of weight and still adjust its seat height quickly while still on the move. This feature gives a more natural flexibility when socializing with others while walking beside them.

Its in-line motors help to move the mid-wheel drive system to achieve up to 3.5 mph of speed when the seats are elevated and four mph when they aren’t.

The 12V 12Ah battery will help the Jazzy Air cover a range of just over 18 miles of not only indoor but also outdoor track thanks to its six-wheel design and active track suspension.

* * * Buy the Jazzy Air chair at 1800wheelchair.

Jazzy Sport Portable Electric Wheelchair

The Pride Jazzy Sport Portable: easy to disassemble

This Jazzy model is less than half the price of the Jazzy air, and even though it doesn’t have motorized height adjustable seating features, it is lighter and easy to dismantle for transportation purposes.

The Jazzy Sport wheelchair uses front wheel drive. Two in-line electric wheelchair motors power the chair so that it can go up to speeds of 4 mph.

Average battery consumption for the Jazzy Sport portable tops at only 8.95 miles of range uses due to both of its 3Ah 12V batteries.

* * * Get the Pride Jazzy Sport Portable here.

Invacare Electric Wheelchairs

Invacare FDX Power Wheelchair

This electric wheelchair from Invacare features a front wheel drive system that is designed to help users to face up to 9 degrees of inclination. That means the FDX can maneuver around slight inclines and declines comfortably indoors and out.

With two speed options available, the standard 2-pole motor model can go up to speeds of 5 miles per hour while the 4-pole motor upgrade can reach up to 6.8 miles per hour.

The Invacare FDX also boasts a battery life of 12.25 miles before its subsequent recharging.

Invacare Nutron R51 LXP Power Wheelchair

The Invacare R51 is also able to drive on tilting terrains of up to 10 degrees of inclinations.

What makes this model different is that it uses rear-wheel drive technology and is a portable Invacare electric wheelchair.

The R51 also has dual batteries that can withstand 20.25 miles of use range.

It has a powerful 650-watt high torque motor that can give the wheelchair speeds of up to 6 miles per hour even in outdoor terrains.

Invacare Pronto M51

The Pronto M51 is also an electric wheelchair made by Invacare and has a mid-wheel drive system.

It can travel at speeds of 4 miles per hour for about 12 miles before having to be recharged.

The two large center wheels and four other wheels help it move around exceptionally well indoors and out and also during 9-degree inclines.


 Quickie Electric Wheelchairs

Quickie Salsa M2 Mid-Wheel Powered Wheelchair

This super narrow electric wheelchair from Quickie uses mid-wheel drive technology with the goal to withstand outdoor performance.

With 60A of battery life, the Salsa M2 can handle an exceptionally long range of 32 km before needing a recharge.

This mini electric wheelchair can accommodate a maximum 300 lbs of weight and has 2-pole motors that can provide a speed range of 4-6 miles per hour and is crash test approved for ISO 7176-19.

Quickie Puma 40 Electric Wheelchair

This model from Quickie is versatile simply because it has both rear and front wheel drives. That means that you can use the advantages of having a greater control while turning and enjoy a smooth ride on any terrain. Especially when all four wheels possess full track suspensions! An electronic wheelchair with comfort and performance – what’s not to like!s

The Puma 40 also has a 45 degrees tilt functionality to give more back relief for its users.

This Quickie Puma 40 can go up to speeds of 12.5 km/h. It has 74A of battery that is fit enough for rides to up to 40 km without recharging.

 Pride Electric Wheelchairs

Pride Go Chair Electric Wheelchair

The Pride Go Chair

The Pride Go Chair

The Pride Go Chair Electric Wheelchair is one of the most affordable in its class.

It is ultra portable, and you can dismantle it very quickly.

Still able to carry 250 pounds, the Pride electric chair has a 12A battery. It can powers itself to a limit of 10 miles before it needs the next recharge.

Its in-line electric wheelchair motor is capable of going up to a speed of 5.6 mph. Because of the central wheel drive, it is mostly suitable for indoor surfaces that have minimum bumps.

* * * Buy your Pride Go Chair here.

Pride LX

The Pride LX, on the other hand, is an electric wheelchair that is foldable and uses a rear wheel drive.

Top speeds can reach up to 5 miles per hour and can drive 35 miles without the need to recharge.

Despite its portability, the LX can still carry 250 pounds of weight and still very adaptable for mild outdoor terrains.

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