There are a couple of things every scooter owner should know. How to ride an electric scooter in traffic, how to boost battery life, and how to stay safe on an electric scooter.
We suggest that scooter owners add one more item to this list: how to charge an electric scooter without a charger. It is a really important trick to have up your sleeve in case of emergencies, and it can one day save you from being stranded on the side of the road.
Don’t get us wrong: we are not advocating ditching your electric scooter charger and doing some of the following methods on a regular basis. Charging your electric scooter with the original charger is always going to be the safest and most reliable method.
That said, here are some of the best ways to charge your electric scooter without a charger!
2 Different Ways to Charge electric scooter without Charger
When you don’t have an electric scooter charger, you’re essentially creating your own charger manually in order to charge the batteries. Here are two ways you can get this done.
Method #1: Using a Portable Car Jumper for your Electric Scooter Battery
If you’re stranded mid-ride and need assistance with a dead battery on your electric scooter — the chances of someone having a spare scooter charger that works with your scooter is slim. On the other hand, a portable car jumper is easy to find and most services (such as AAA) will also be able to give you one. Car jumpers store higher voltages and usually have more than enough capacity for a scooter’s battery, when compared to ordinary batteries.
- Start by removing your electric scooter battery. You’ll have to be careful doing this — switch off your electric scooter before attempting this. Make sure you’re aware that most warranties are declared void if you remove your battery pack. Most scooter batteries are located under the deck. Remove the deck plate underneath the footboard using a screwdriver. You will notice the battery pack is connected to wires in the bay.
Carefully remove the red and black wires. They will either be connected with screws or with a plastic connector that can be pulled apart with your hands.
Always remove the red cable before the black cable.
- Locate the positive and negative terminal on your battery — they are usually indicated with a ‘+’ and ‘-‘ sign. Now, get your jumper cables ready. It’s very important that the tips of both jumper cables do not touch each other, so always keep the cables spread out. Now you’re going to connect the jumper cables to the scooter battery.
- Separate the black leads from both jumper cables, and leave these on the ground. Make sure that they do not come in contact with any metal surface or object. Now, take the red leads. Connect one of the red leads to the positive port on your electric scooter’s battery. Always double check that you’re connecting it to the positive port, it should be marked either in red or with a ‘+’ sign.Now, connect the other red lead to positive port on the car battery.
- Take one black lead and connect it to the negative terminal on your car battery. This could also be marked black along with the ‘-‘ sign. Take the other black lead and attach it to bare metal or another grounding point.
Important: Do not connect the other black lead to the negative terminal on the scooter battery. This will lead to an explosion and is very dangerous.
- Now that your electric cables are connected, you can switch on the portable car jumper. If you’re using the car battery, you can switch on your car. It should take around 20 minutes for your electric scooter battery to fully charge. Keep an eye on your electric scooter battery, it should have a green light that indicates it is fully charged. Do not prematurely disconnect the cables, this can damage your battery, or cause short-circuiting which can be a shock or fire hazard.
- Disconnecting the cables and switching off the power supply the correct way is equally important. You’ll have to be extra careful here not to get an electric shock, so follow this order of disconnecting cables.
Start by switching off the car jumper or car battery.
Then, remove the black lead from the grounding point, being extra careful not to let it touch anything. Now remove the positive red cable from the scooter batter. Disconnect the positive red cable from the car battery, and finally the negative black lead from the car jumper as well. Don’t yank all the cables out at once, this can be dangerous, and try to avoid direct contact with the scooter’s electrical plugs.
You’ve now successfully charged your electric scooter with a portable car jumper or battery! You can also try to charge a scooter battery with this method using a motorcycle battery, bike battery or versatile portable jumper, as long as it has sufficient voltage power supply. Make sure you understand the scooter battery utilizing power before attempting this.
Method #2: Using a Universal Power Adapter for your Scooter Battery
If you’re wondering how to charge electric scooter without charger when you don’t have access to a car jumper (or simply don’t want to take the risk), a universal power adapter or all inclusive adaptor charger can come in handy.
You can find a universal adaptor in any hardware store, since its made to have flexible voltage for different electronic devices. It’s important to follow steps correctly before you decide to use it, or they can potentially cause more harm than good.
Just to be clear: a universal power supply adaptor will not be as safe as your original battery charger, so try sticking to the OEM scooter battery charger when possible for a lithium ion battery. Use this method only for emergencies, as this will definitely diminish battery life over time.
- Safely Remove your Scooter BatteryYou’ll want to carefully remove the battery on your electric scooter just like the previous method. Carefully unscrew the deck and footboard to find the battery slot. You’ll have to disconnect the scooter cables from the battery, either by plugging out the plastic connectors or unscrewing them.
- Connect the Variable Power SupplyConnect the connectors to your scooter batteries. Make sure you’re plugging in the red cable to the positive and negative connections to the black. Make sure its securely connected to the battery terminals.
- Set the VoltageThis is the most important part of using a universal power adaptor, since it has multiple variable power supply options. Make sure you set the correct voltage on your electric scooter battery. You might have to consult your owner’s manual for the electric scooter if you don’t know it. The average scooter battery should be set at 4.30/cell, but this can greatly vary depending on your scooter model and battery pack.
- Set the currentNow that you’ve set the voltage on the adaptor, you have to set the current at which it charges. It’s more dangerous to set the current too high than setting it too low (the latter only results in slow charging, while the former could be a safety hazard). Set the current at 20% of your scooter’s battery capacity.
- Allow it to completely chargeIt’s tough to tell when the battery levels have gone up and your scooter battery is completely charged. It might take quite a while until your scooter charged. You’ll have to keep an eye out on supplied current indicator. When the number drops to 3% or below, disconnect the all inclusive power adaptor, devices connected, and place the battery back in your scooter.
How to Charge Lead Acid Scooter Batteries
The charging process for lead acid batteries without a charger is different from lithium ion batteries. Razor scooters often use a lead acid battery pack.
This method can be a bit dangerous, and you’ll often see many battery manuals and instructions warn against using a universal power adaptor. Make sure you don’t leave your razor scooter unattended when using this method. It’s a good idea to take further precautions like performing this method in a cool and dry environment, monitoring the temperature and interfacing wires.
- You’ll have to start by finding out your battery voltage, and this can easily be calculated by counting the power cell number inside the battery. The average lead acid battery has 2 volts per cell.
- Once you know how many power cells are within the lead acid battery, you can use an adjustable power cable to let the motor scooter battery charge completely.
- Set the voltage according to the power cell, and then set your current to 10-30% of the rated capacity cell sound.
- You’ll know when your battery is done charging when the current rating reduces to about 3% or lower. Safely unplug the battery cell pack and you can get back to scooter riding for the rest of your journey. Try to limit using this method and go back to using the scooter’s charger immediately.
You’ll find plenty of unconvential methods to charge an electric scooter without the original scooter’s charge online — and not all of them are safe. Many riders come across a method involving a cigarette lighter socket, and we strongly advice against trying this.
The only community approved methods involve using a portable jumper, car battery or universal power adapter (as mentioned in the article) with a lot of supervision and care. This should be obvious: but never microwave your scooter’s battery! This is a major fire hazard and will likely lead to an explosion.
Disclaimers aside, knowing how to jump start your electric scooter when you’re in a pinch can definitely save your life, or at least your commute.
Once you’ve saved your scooter’s battery for the time-being, head back home and buy another OEM charger. You can avoid issues like this in the future by investing in a good quality scooter with a long-distance range, so that you almost never run out of battery juice.