Atlanta Experts Examine the Differences Between a Mobility Scooter and a Power Wheelchair

Understanding Power Wheelchairs with Freedom Mobility Center

About 6.8 million people in the United States use assistive equipment to help them with mobility difficulties. This type of equipment can include a power wheelchair, mobility scooter, and even things like canes and walkers.

If you are in the market for mobility aids in the Atlanta area, it can be difficult to choose between the many options available. Do you want to learn more about the differences between a mobility scooter and a power wheelchair?

We have created this article to provide more information on these mobility aids so you can choose one that works best for your limited mobility.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Use

One of the biggest differences between a mobility scooter and a power wheelchair is their intended use. While both scooters and electric wheelchairs can be used indoors and outdoors, both have features that make them more suitable to one or the other.

Because many people who use power wheelchairs use them in their homes to maintain independence and to improve their mobility, these wheelchairs are designed for more maneuverability when used inside.

While there are some power wheelchairs that are suitable for different terrains, they are the best choice if you are using them as your primary mode of transportation indoors.

If you are looking for a mobility aid for outdoor use, you may consider a more rugged mobility scooter that can handle the bumps and other obstacles of the outdoors. These scooters often come equipped with suspension parts that make them suitable for uneven ground.

Method of Operation

Another significant difference between power wheelchairs and mobility scooter is how they are operated. A scooter typically has handlebars with a tiller which are used to steer and direct the scooter.

On the other hand, a power wheelchair is typically operated with a joystick. The joystick gives more maneuverability to people operating an electric wheelchair, making it easier to make tight turns and operate in smaller spaces in and around Atlanta.

Number of Wheels

Another difference between scooters and power wheelchairs is the number of wheels they are designed with. Because mobility scooters are not typically used as a primary mode of transportation, they do not require quite as much stability.

So, they usually are only designed with three or four wheels.

Power wheelchairs require more stability, so they are designed with more wheels. These mobility aids usually have two large wheels that are used to drive and 4 smaller wheels that improve the chair’s stability.

The number of wheels you have on your wheelchair or scooter will also impact the maneuverability. Fewer wheels make it easier to maneuver your scooter. However, more wheels will make it harder to tip while you are using your mobility device.

Battery Life

Another significant difference between mobility scooters and power wheelchairs is the battery life. Both types of devices use different types of rechargeable batteries.

Mobility scooters typically have longer battery life. Because they are meant for driving long distances, you can expect to go up to 40 miles on a single charge with your mobility scooter.

On the other hand, power wheelchairs are usually only in use at home and aren’t meant for lengthy drives. Usually, you can expect to go about 10-20 miles on a single charge on your electric wheelchair.

Another thing that will impact your battery life is your weight. If you are a smaller person, it will not take as much effort for your wheelchair or scooter to move you around Atlanta. This means you will typically get more life out of your batteries for a wheelchair or a scooter.

Seating Options

Mobility scooters and power wheelchairs also differ in seating. If you are looking for a mobility aid with many seating options, it is best to choose a power wheelchair.

With a mobility scooter, there is typically only one type of seat. These are usually made from vinyl, and in some cases, these chairs can swivel.

However, electric or power wheelchairs have more seating options. You can customize your seat to be a captain-style seat, a stadium-style seat, or even a solid seat pan.


As was mentioned before, there are several differences between mobility scooters and power wheelchairs that will affect the handling or impact the mobility maneuverability of your scooter or wheelchair.

First, you will have to consider how you use each device. The handlebars of a scooter make it more difficult to make tight turns. With a joystick on your power wheelchair, it is easy to move your wheelchair exactly how you want to.

The number of wheels will also impact the maneuverability of your device. Fewer wheels make it easier to turn and move when you are out and about in Atlanta, although this may lead to less stability.

Extra Features

Finally, a mobility scooter and power wheelchair differ when it comes to the extra features available.

Both mobility aids come with a seatbelt for safety. However, you can typically customize an electric wheelchair more easily than a scooter. You can customize the amount of padding, the type of seat you use, and even the controls available.

You can also customize things like foot placement to improve your comfort on a power wheelchair. You will likely have more legroom on a power wheelchair as well.

Learn More About Mobility Scooters & Power Wheelchairs from Our Atlanta Experts

When you are looking for mobility aids, whether you are recovering from an injury or to retain your independence as you age, both a mobility scooter and a power wheelchair are great options.

However, when you suffer from severe mobility issues, an electric wheelchair might be the best option for you. With customizable features, better handling, and options for indoor and outdoor use, they can help those unable to move freely on their own when they are out in Atlanta.

Are you looking for a power wheelchair for you or a loved one? Freedom Mobility Center can help. Contact our team to learn more about our power wheelchair products or get a free in-home assessment today.