THE ONLY PLACE ON THE NET FOR REAL WORLD, ACCURATE, INFORMED INFO ON ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIRS (POWERCHAIRS), BATTERIES, CHARGERS, & POWERCHAIR DESIGN!
If you need to know what makes powerchairs tick, (or what stops them from ticking) or anything at all about power wheelchairs, then this is the ONLY place to be. There’s a mountain of unique & valuable information here.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR:
- Power Wheelchair Info
- Powerchair Reviews
- Accessible vehicles
- Everything Else
AS A PARAPLEGIC ENGINEER, I have spent the last 18 years in a wheelchair after a bike accident.
I was pretty disgusted at the crappy build quality and lack of design prevalent in most of this industry along with poor & outdated materials, & antiquated cheap components of even the BEST power wheelchairs. So put my money where my mouth is and just built my own!And since 97 I have used, tested, and abused, examined and pulled apart a great many “high end” power wheelchairs available while looking for the best. Trust me, nothing much changed in this time and they they are all very much the same as they were in ’97. All just clones of one another, with a few minor differences, using the same basic bought in industry standardised & supplied components.
Nothing has improved to any real degree in well over a decade. A few more colours, new generation controllers with big (bulky) colour screens that get in the way, but all still way under-powered. Still also using old technology 24v lead acid batteries and hard to access programming tools. Few seating changes, some cup holders? That’s about it for development…
Yet they cost as much as a large motorcycle or small car in many cases. No up to date Lithium technology, brushless motors, tubeless tyres, fancy materials or much else to be seen. No decent indoor/outdoor designs either – its still one or the other. All Built like an explosion in a bracket factory with lots of overly complex steel, heavy, “busy” parts all seemingly randomly bolted together. Masses of over complexity & weight, instead of simple clean design and some thought. So I just built my own properly!
MOBILITY ADAPTED VEHICLES
DRIVE FROM YOUR WHEELCHAIR VANS & CARS MOSTLY!
(But a bit of everything. Including some vehicles for transporting wheelchair users!)
As an guy that used to build V8 drag race cars and bikes and SERIOUS race engines for my own customers, I know a good deal about vehicles… So when I started looking around for adapted vehicles that I could easily drive from my powerchair things got interesting!
Chrysler Minivan New Wheelchair Adapted
My own van that I drive from a wheelchair at a local pub in my home town in the summer evening. Lowered suspension not activated so ramp is steeper than usual
Dodge Grand Caravan
VW Caravelle VR6
So there’s now also a section here on modified vans and cars too. The thing to remember is that these things go together.
A powerchair needs a van to transport it for longer trips. This may be one where you have a driver and ride in the passenger compartment or where you drive FROM your wheelchair. As I do. Trust me driving from a wheelchair, especially a GOOD powerchair is very liberating.
I now have my life and independence back. These things are not just a good idea they are essential! There are many new designs, and quality manufacturers in 2011/12 as I write this. Unlike the stagnated powerchair market wheelchair accessible cars and vans have become well developed, and there’s lots of choice!
I drive from a power wheelchair. A simple electronic tie down locks the powerchair in position.
Roll mouse over image to deploy the ramp and lower the suspension! This took me ages. Notice Arnie on guard duty… He is waiting for his walk and wondering what I am wasting time doing.
MY OWN SUPERIOR HOME BUILT OR HEAVILY MODIFIED POWER WHEELCHAIRS!
ITS EASY TO JUST BITCH AND MOAN, The difference here is that I know how to do this stuff LOTS better than anything that I could buy. So, I put my own money and skills where my mouth is.
As such I build my own far superior power wheelchairs in my BEDROOM since there doesn’t seem to be any choice. As usual I have to do it myself. As a paraplegic guy this really isn’t easy, but I can do this for about 1/3rd of the cost of a cheaply built “proper” chair…
- BM2 POWERCHAIR
And while using modern far better technology as well as hugely better build quality and design, such as Kevlar lined tubeless tyres for smooth ride, and no punctures, stainless bearings and bolts so nothing corrodes or fails, a huge but light lithium battery power for massive range or to just charge weekly like your phone, 150 Amp 45 volt control system for more speed, power & efficiency and much, much more.
Including less weight, very compact truly indoor capable design, rearward C of G good for control and wheelie capability and soft ground, etc.
WAY more of “everything good” in fact than all the chairs offered by the REAL manufacturers. And built to a standard that really should embarrass them. In total it costs me about 2.5 to 3k UK Pounds per chair! (4 to 5k US Dollars?) PLUS my time and effort obviously, doing one at a time at full retail prices. And you wonder why I bother? #
I can build 3 of these power wheelchairs for the same price as one “official” mobility company bought powerchair!!!
- BM3 – A LITHIUM Powered, 15MPH, 45 MILE RANGE, INDOOR/OUTDOOR POWER WHEELCHAIR built by me, and for me, only for my own use. Only the round tube frame is from an F55 powerchair. And a few other minor insignificant bits.
But I do post all the info and details on here to help others do the same. And to encourage the real manufacturers to get with the show! (10 years late!)
Have done this for myself for 10+ years since landing in a wheelchair and discovering that all powerchairs were frankly useless, under engineered, overweight, badly designed and unreliable!
The one at the top of this page for e.g. is my BM2 or previous generation chair and the one I am sat in, in the pub, typing this page from. Scroll down to see more info and pages/versions of my own powerchairs should you be interested.
I am just in the process of finally assembling the 3rd incarnation of my latest powerchair! Called BM3 (for Burgerman 3) Its quantum leap better in every direction than anything you can actually buy (and follows on from the BM1 and BM2 powerchairs) for the following reasons:
HERE, EXCEEDS ALL SPEED, SIZE, WEIGHT, RANGE, CONTROL, BUILD QUALITY, RIDE COMFORT, POWER 7 TORQUE PARAMETERS OF EVERY OTHER POWERCHAIR AVAILABLE.
IT ALSO USES A 3000 WATT HOUR LITHIUM BATTERY WITH 10 YEAR LIFE FOR 45+ MILES REAL WORLD RANGE. WANT A DECENT POWERCHAIR? YOU CANT BUY ONE. YOU NEED TO BUILD YOUR OWN LIKE THIS!
MUCH Faster! at 15 to 16 MPH
MUCH more Power & Torque (about 3x more!)
HUGE 2x to 3x the range of normal power wheelchairs @ 45+ real world miles
Smaller than most indoor only chairs at 26.0 inches wide, 37 inches long inc. footplate etc.
Off road, snow, sand, mud – TRULY outdoor capable!
Smoother ride due to low pressure rear tyres (5 PSI with fat sidewalls) and 10 inch front casters
Better finish and longer lasting by miles!
HUGE Lithium Ion Phosphate 45v battery with ultra fast charge capability & HALF the weight
10 year+ battery life
Superior controllability & accuracy
Better indoor manoeuvrability
In CAR or home charging
More important than all of the above, it is designed SO ALL OF IT WORKS TOGETHER to create a tight, light, capable, compact indoor/outdoor all day (all week!) powerchair that just WORKS WELL, GOES ANYWHERE, GOES FAST, GOES THE DISTANCE…
Ask YOUR wheelchair manufacturer why your chair doesn’t do all the above?
See what feeble excuses they give you. There is no excuse!!! Its all possible, better, and available cheaply today!
LINKS TO MY HOMEBUILT POWERCHAIRS BM1, BM2 & BM3