Powered by lithium

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

OAKDALE, Pa.--Frank Mobility Systems is going where few HME manufacturers have gone before: The company’s new and improved e.motion M15 push rim power assist system includes a muscular lithium-ion battery.

Other than Shoprider, which includes a lithium iron (not ion) battery on its lightweight Smartie power wheelchair, few if any HME manufacturers have embraced this more expensive


Frank Mobility introduced the M15 to the U.S. market in March at the International Seating Symposium (ISS).

By combining the lithium ion battery with gearless brushless motors that are 30% more efficient than their predecessor, M15 users can go up to 16 miles on a single charge. That’s more than double the previous model, says President Werner Frank.

While little historical data exists on how lithium batteries perform on mobility equipment, laboratory tests indicated that they have the potential to last much longer than sealed gel batteries. Some say the battery could last four to five years.

Shoprider’s Smartie debuted about two years ago and its lithium battery, which Medicare allows to be replaced once every three years, has been “trouble free,” President David Lin told HME News last month.