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FROM A WHEELCHAIR" VEHICLES:
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& About Me
Typical cost of Powerchair Ownership, Cost of Charging, Cost of
I get many email
questions from "professionals", as well as end users with the questions about
cost daily. I had never really though much about it before so decided to do a
typical breakdown (me!) of costs. It is quite surprising!
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Running costs of a
Hi end Powerchair (of the type a busy active
user would require).
Typical Purchase Price:
£6500 Varies - Use your own figure!
Depreciation over 3 years (typical) lifespan:
£6000 - Many used powerchairs are sold for around 500 on eBay for
e.g. If you wear them out faster, or make them last 5 years then adjust
accordingly. But 3 years is typical for an active user.
Spares over typical 3 years (real costs with
Tyres 9 sets front caster tyres & 4 tubes
Tyres 5 sets rear tyres
£300 Of course if you barely use your chair this will be less -
Only you can know this from experience - adjust cost to suit.
£229 (typical price, but I actually bought 3 expensive chargers for
different situations - not included here - after the original failed)
Upholstery, Arms, various worn /
damaged parts £700 (I actually
spend £1700 every year completely rebuilding one of my 3 powerchairs but this
700 is a typical figure for an average users bill.
Motors 1 set £600
Again, this is a typical; figure. Some users will never wear out a motor.
I wore out 11 sets in 13 years... In 4
different chairs and three different brands. If you are very active you will
wear them out! If you sit at home all day they will outlive you.
£400 per year. or
£1200 over 3 years
Scary eh? Well its true. As a busty ACTIVE user I need new batteries
every 10 to 12 months. The very best batteries at £400 a set can give 500 x 80%
deep cycles. In a lab with smooth constant currents and optimised charging and
temperatures. In real world use you get 300 to 350 cycles or days use and
recharge. If you use the chair like my grandma, and sit at home and don't really
use its range you may get 5 years! Or if you are worse than I am and flatten the
batteries pretty much daily then you will not get 6 months.
Charging costs every night:
70Ah @ 24V (your batteries usable electrical store) is electrically the same as
7 Amps at 240v for 1 hour. Its the same amount of power/energy. But charger and
battery are not 100 percent efficient so 10 amps for 1 hour is approx equivalent
at 240v mains power when recharging. That is 2400 watt hours. at a typical UK
price of 9p per kW/hour. so just £0.21 daily. or £6.48
Per month. That was cheaper than you expected wasn't it? Well it
Total costs for a typical heavy active user (including depreciation and
£9512 over 3 years. (every 3 years...)
That's £264 UK pounds per calendar month.
Being Disabled is not cheap. And these are very real figures rounded up and down
slightly for simplicity. Supported by 13 years worth of receipts.
In actual fact the real cost is higher still when you consider the damage done
to carpets, door frames, etc. And that you need a special
stupidly priced vehicle
to get about in that is typically twice or three times the price of an able
bodied persons car. And that it is hard to insure and does half the miles to the
And then consider that to be sensible you NEED a
back up chair as well since you cannot
manage if one chair fails.
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