Good old United Airlines. What would travelers have to talk about without
them? Just about everyone I know (including myself) who travels has an "Oh
for goodness sake," or worse, story to tell about United.
Formerly you were allowed to travel with a lithium-ion battery of less than
300Wh. The standard lithium battery for the current "normal" Travelscoot
model is 274WH.
However, on at least some airlines, now I see a 160Wh restriction. In that
case the low-capacity 158WH battery that Travelscoot sell should be accepted
by most or all airlines. Some may require pre-trip approval and/or require
you to remove the battery and carry it with you in the cabin.
So you may run into problems with airlines accepting lithium batteries >=
160WH, period. There may be exceptions for mobility devices, but good luck
if the counter person you're talking to doesn't know about them.
My guess is that the protagonist of this story ran into this problem. I
sure hope he was able to get the battery back after he returned home.
That's a pretty darn expensive item to have some authoritarian jerk
confiscate and junk.
Older Travelscoots used a lead-gel battery. That should still be OK for
travel anywhere, if you have one or can still get one from TS. I don't see
lead battery spares listed on their website any more, but if you can find an
old lead battery frame and canvas bag (or fabricate one yourself), you can
probably just change the batteries inside it when they depreciate and keep
Unfortunately with a lead battery, the TS range is significantly lower. It
weighs a lot more, too. :-(
One nice thing about older lead-battery-era TSes vs new ones is that they
had a higher top speed. :-) The current model is limited to walking speed
and has a lower power motor.
EVDL Administrator via EV wrote:
> Formerly you were allowed to travel with a lithium-ion battery of less than
> 300Wh. The standard lithium battery for the current "normal" Travelscoot
> model is 274WH.
> However, on at least some airlines, now I see a 160Wh restriction...
> Older Travelscoots used a lead-gel battery... Unfortunately with a lead battery,
> the TS range is significantly lower. It weighs a lot more, too. :-(
Lithium and lead-acid aren't the only games in town. What about nimh?
It's still easy enough to get nimh D, C, or sub-C cells.
A nimh D-cell is rated about 10ah at 1.2v, so 12Wh each. That's about 12
cells for a 160Wh pack, or 24 for 274Wh. They weigh about 5 ounces, so 4
lbs for the 160Wh pack, and 8 for the 274Wh pack. (Of course, these are
using "advertised" capacities, which are probably exaggerated for both
the nimh cells and TravelScoot packs).
> What about nimh?
> It's still easy enough to get nimh D, C, or sub-C cells.
Good thought! The only possible problem with that is that in recent years
I've found it difficult to find good quality high-rate NiMH cells. What I
see available are mostly no-name generic Chinese cells. I may have been
looking in the wrong places, but the only branded ones I've found are
Tenergy cells, which don't get very good reviews.
Older Travelscoots had a 250 Watt motor, and I think for the recent ones
it's 175 Watts or so. So maybe 1C cells would be OK.