Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Follow-up

I purchased an SLA battery for my TravelScoot to use as my second battery. The advantage of having the SLA battery as a backup is that I can leave it in the trunk of my car and if I don't have my lithium ion battery with me, I can still use my scoot. I also like having it available in case I'm by myself and I overload my lithium ion battery and can't get it restarted by myself.

I put the battery in my trunk on Monday, June 22nd. I used it for a short shopping trip at Walmart, a couple of trips to visit my mom's nursing home, and to demonstrate my scoot for friends in my exercise class. On Friday, July 3rd, Alan and I took my scoot to the grocery store. We hooked up the SLA battery and sat the lithium ion battery on top of it (the opposite of how it is in the photo), in case the SLA battery pooped out on me in the store. On the way into the store the battery display went from green to amber when I was going up the incline into the store, then it went back to green. As we went through the store it went from green to a steady amber. We stayed in the store long enough to buy almost $300 in groceries and misc. supplies. By the time we left the store the display went from amber to red. I was still able to drive it out to our van and use it to take the shopping cart back to the store. I never had to use the lithium ion battery that day.

Judging from this test, it looks like I'll need to charge the SLA battery about every 10 - 14 days, depending on how much I use it. I imagine it also loses some charge just from sitting in the trunk.

The SLA battery weighs 20 lbs., but it's easy to lift because of the handle on the fabric pouch. I still prefer the lighter-weight lithium ion battery for regular use, but I like having the SLA as a backup.

Hardy has a page on his website that explains the differences in the batteries. It's at


  1. we now only take the sla batteries on cruise ships because there are ramps that knock out the li ones and it's just easier to use one. we charge at night and run all day on them. what a blast!!! lovin' my travelscoot!

    smiles, bee

  2. Bee, that's good to know! Our cruise is next March, so I'll definitely take both batteries.

  3. Thanks for posting this update. I think I am going to order an SLA battery soon so I don't have to carry my lithium ion to work everyday. One never knows when "emergency scooting" will need to take place :)

  4. Cynth, I think it's a good idea to have the SLA in addition to the lithium ion. I find that quite often "emergency scooting" needs to take place. LOL!

  5. ok,the SLA won't all of a sudden die?

    but what happened to me (twice now) is that the the motor overheated and the scoot stopped, even tho the indicator light on the on/off switch was green. so that's not the same, right?

    and when the motor cooled off some, it went back to working, and didn't need a push.

    also, how hot is too hot to keep the Lithium batteries in the car? do we have a temperature cut-off?

  6. Lynn Ellen, I know the first time your motor over heated you were at the march... but what were you doing the second time your motor over heated?

  7. My understanding is that the li-ion stops (overloads) to protect the battery and that the SLA battery doesn't not have that same protection.

    I've never experienced my scoot stopping and the indicator light staying green. When my li-ion stops, there is no green light. With a push mine starts right back up (light flickering from red to green), so it sounds like yours is doing something different.

    From what I've been reading it seems that heat affects the li-ion battery life. I couldn't find a cut off temperature for leaving it in the car, but with mine I keep it out of direct sunlight and treat it like I do meds that shouldn't get warm. Living in Louisiana, that means that most of the time it's too hot to leave it in the car.

  8. My mechanic friends assure me it is a built-in switch in the motor that shuts it down if it gets too hot. The second time it happened I was going uphill just enough to tax the motor and heat it up. I am a bit worried for my vacation but I will just take a bit more care when I encounter an uphill slope.

    I also learned how to tighten my drive belt today and it was a bit loose. I forgot to ask the mechanic if she thought that was related to the overheating.

    I also tried out the configuration that Hardy has for putting the seat and handlebars down for the flight as well as having the carry-on bag under my legs whe I pull the other suitcase with my left hand so I've got my independence at the airport established.

    Friday night!

  9. I'm learning all sorts of new things since I got my scoot. It's good that we're sharing experiences too, because I know I won't freak out if my scoot stops but the light stays green. I'll know just to let it cool down for a bit and then try again.

    I've picked Hardy up from the airport and he was on his TravelScoot, and my friend who went to Disney didn't have any trouble flying with hers, but I still can't wait to hear how your flight(s) go.

    I don't know how I'm going to manage a camera in addition to myself, my luggage and my scoot, but I'm DETERMINED to get some pictures of the whole process when I fly in July.

    If you have a chance, would you get someone to take a picture of you with your carry-on bag under your legs? I'd really like to see that. If you're just a tad too busy getting everything done before you leave, I understand that too.

    I hope you have a fantastic trip and lots of great TravelScoot stories to tell.

  10. Lynn Ellen I hope all goes smoothly on your trip and you have a great time!