So you’re planning to travel overseas and need to be able to use your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. You’re probably wondering if your battery charger will work or if you will need to purchase a new charger which will be compatible in the country you are travelling to.
Here at Valen, we get asked about this a lot!
Different countries have different AC Voltage ranges and plug types compared to Australia and New Zealand. You definitely don’t want to run the risk of travelling to a foreign country and then not be able to use your battery charger.
In this blog, the Valen team will take you through everything you need to know about travelling overseas with your scooter or wheelchair battery charger.
What do I need to know about voltage?
Different countries use different voltages and frequencies of electricity. For comparison, North American power outlets provide 120VAC (volts AC) whereas outlets in Europe provide 230VAC.
If you were to plug in a scooter or wheelchair battery charger while overseas that isn’t rated for the outlets’ voltage, the charger may be seriously damaged.
In Australia and New Zealand, most battery chargers on the market are only compatible with 240VAC, which means they won’t work in countries other than Australia and New Zealand.
The good news is that there are some chargers on the market that have been designed to cope with a range of different voltages. For example, our Valen Convection Cooled battery chargers have a 110-240VAC input range. This means they are compatible with all voltage ranges from around the world.
If you’re unsure what your charger input voltage range is, always check with your battery manufacturer before you travel.
Here’s a top tip
When charging your battery from a power source of less than 230-240VAC, which is standard in Australia/New Zealand, please be aware that this will take longer to charge compared to how long it usually takes back home.
This is particularly important to remember if you are planning to travel to the United States where the power voltage is 110VAC.
What do I need to know about plug types?
Just as different countries have different voltages, there are different electrical socket shapes used around the world. When travelling with your mobility scooter or wheelchair, you’ll need to consider the compatibility of your charger in relation to the plug shape of the country you’re visiting.
Most battery chargers come with a lead out of the charger to the wall socket which has a 3 pin Australia/New Zealand compatible plug on it. If you want to use such a charger overseas, you would need to use a travel adaptor to be able to plug the charger into the wall.
When heading overseas, an adaptor is a necessity anyway as you’ll need to be able to charge all your other electronics such as your phone, laptop, camera etc. But it’s good to have another charging option for your wheelchair or scooter so you don’t have to reply solely on using an adaptor.
An alternative is to use a charger that has a removable IEC male socket charger lead. This means the lead to the wall socket is interchangeable.
IEC is a standard international plug used in many countries. IEC plug to wall sockets to suit the country you are travelling to can easily be found on the Internet. Otherwise, get in touch with us at Valen for help finding one.
The benefit of using a charger with an IEC male socket, such as our Valen Convection Cooled battery charger, is that it frees up your travel adaptor to charge your other electronics at the same time. It also reduces your reliance on having an adaptor in the event you lose it while travelling.
Need further advice on charging your mobility batteries?
The team at Valen are here to support you with all of your mobility battery charging needs.
If you’d like more information, please click here to get in touch with our expert team. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.