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Electric Wheelchair Buyers Guide – Powerchairs

Here at CareCo we offer a wide range of powerchairs from compact chairs for indoor use up to fully featured powerchairs for negotiating various terrains, and everything in between. Electric wheelchairs or powerchairs as we like to call them have a much shorter wheel base than mobility scooters, making them much more manoeuvrable in tight places, ideal for getting around the house.

Excel Venture Powerchairs
Excel Venture Electric Wheelchair

Powerchairs come as three different styles, these include rear wheel drive, mid wheel drive and front wheel drive. All these drive systems have their advantages and disadvantages and below we’ll talk about what each system has to offer.

Rear wheel drive

Rear wheel drive powerchairs are the most common and most popular type of electric wheelchair and can come with a fixed frame or folding frame depending on the model. Rear wheel drive models are easy to control, although they can need a larger space in which to turn compared to other types of powerchair.

Mid wheel drive

Mid wheel drive powerchairs have three sets of wheels, one at the front, one at the back and a set in the middle which propel the chair. These powerchairs look a lot different to standard powerchairs, but the mid wheel drive makes them feel much more stable and also means that it can turn around in the tightest space.

Easi Go Powerchairs
Easi Go Electric Wheelchair

Because mid wheel drive powerchairs are so manoeuvrable you often find that the seats are bigger and more comfortable than standard powerchairs; this is because they can often be controlled into smaller spaces.

Front wheel drive

As you would expect, front wheel drive powerchairs have their drive wheels at the front. These types of chairs are lightweight and are often more compact than other powerchairs, although they do suffer from poor dive quality and are harder to control compared to the other two types.

Front wheel drive powerchairs allow the user to get closer to desks and tables, making them a popular choice for indoor use.

Powerchair features

Controls

Powerchairs are usually controlled by a simple joystick which can be fitted to either armrest of the chair to accommodate both right and left handed users. More sophisticated powerchairs have the option to control other features of the chair including maximum speed and acceleration, and can also come with built-in battery indicators to show you when it needs to be recharged.

Comfort

Foldawheel Powerchairs
Foldawheel Electric Wheelchair

As the user will be spending an extended amount of time in the powerchair, there are a number of features to consider when it comes to comfort. Adjustable seats give the user a myriad of settings to choose from to make sure they are comfortable when using the chair. Other accessories can also add to the comfort of a powerchair including extra seat cushions, lumbar supports and even headrests.

For more information about powerchairs, our experienced staff are on hand to answer any of your questions.