When it comes to choosing a power wheelchair, speed is an important factor for many wheelchair users. While consumers may desire to own the fastest wheelchair on the market, faster speed is not necessarily better. Consider your lifestyle and how the electric wheelchair will be used. When you compare indoor use to outdoor use, the need for speed changes. Also, environmental factors contribute to the maximum speed that a power wheelchair can achieve.
First, let’s consider several factors that contribute to speed. Most complex rehab power wheelchairs can drive at maximum speeds ranging from 4.5 to 8 mph. Reaching the maximum speed, however, depends on certain factors. The first factor is the weight of the user. Every power chair has a maximum weight capacity. To achieve optimal speed, the weight of the user should be under that weight capacity. Another factor that contributes to speed is terrain. An electric wheelchair that is driven across smooth, flat surfaces is more likely to reach and maintain the maximum speed. Batteries are another contributing factor to reaching optimal speed. A power wheelchair should be equipped with the correct type of batteries and these batteries should be fully charged on a regular basis. Lastly, having tires that are set to an appropriate tire pressure also helps your motorized wheelchair achieve optimal speed.
Whether used indoors or outdoors, an electric wheelchair needs to be programmed so the chair can be used safely in different environments. Q-Logic 3 Advanced Drive Controls is a power wheelchair electronics system available on the Edge 3 power wheelchair. Q-Logic 3 is highly expandable and customizable and can be programmed for up to five different drive profiles by an authorized Quantum® provider. Profiles 1 and 2 are typically set up for indoor driving and are designed for slow, careful maneuvering within indoor spaces, such as hallways and doorways.
A motorized wheelchair with greater speed is designed to fulfill the needs of a more active wheelchair user who spends time outdoors. Q-Logic 3 drive profiles 3, 4 and 5 are typically programmed by a Quantum provider to achieve faster speeds for outdoor driving. Speeds can also be programmed to max out, which may be preferred when programming a power wheelchair for pediatric users. If equipped with iLevel® technology, the Edge 3 drives up 4.5 mph when iLevel is activated, allowing users to keep with up their friends and family and safely navigate street crossings or parking lots. Not elevated, the Edge 3 drives at maximum speeds up to 6 mph. For even greater speed, the Q6 Edge® Z power chair offers an optional 8 mph high-speed motor package.