Easy to use electric add on for a manual wheelchair

5 out of 5 stars

The Alber E-Fix is an add-on kit to turn a standard manual wheelchair into a electric powered wheelchair. The kit (which is usually purchased by a dealer, who then fit it to the manual chair) comes with two wheels (each of which contains an electric motor), a cabling system (with plugs for the wheels to connect to and a holder for the battery), a battery, and an electronic joystick/controller.

The main benefit of this over a traditional powered wheelchair is that the wheelchair can still be taken apart, thus allowing it to be stored in a standard car boot (with no need for a special wheelchair adapted vehicle). With my wheelchair (a Kuschell Compact chair, with the E-Fix add-on), I can take it apart into the following pieces, all of which fit in a standard car boot: two wheels, a battery, the main wheelchair body, the joystick controller. The heaviest pieces are the wheels, and the battery is remarkably light.

The E-Fix is really easy to use (just push the joystick in the direction you want to go), and feels really easy and safe to control. There are all sorts of fancy settings you can change on the controller to configure it to your liking - my dealer set most of these up for me, and they can be used to adjust things like the joystick sensitivity, the firmness of the braking etc). The controller also shows the battery charge level and an estimate of the distance you are able to travel until the battery runs out.

On a full charge, the battery will last for approximately 10 miles of driving, although this will be reduced a bit if you're going up lots of steep hills. Cleverly though, the unit has regenerative braking, meaning that when you're going downhill you actually charge up the battery. The battery fits just under the seat of the chair, and can easily be removed for charging. The battery capacity is just under the limit for a Lithium-Ion battery that can be taken on planes - and I have successfully taken it on a plane to Vienna (you just need to bring the documentation with you describing the battery constituents etc).

The wheels have a 'declutching' mechanism, which means that you can disengage the electric motor, so that the wheels can be used as standard manual wheels. This is great when you're on rough ground where the electric wheels won't work so well - although the wheels are obviously heavier than standard manual wheels, so are a bit harder to push. Having said that, the electric wheels have worked well on fairly rough ground - including paths in forests and off-road in country parks.

The controller is adjustable in terms of position, so that you can have it on the left or the right, and adjust the distance from the seat to fit different arm lengths. It is comfortable and easy to use.

I have had a few intermittent reliability issues with the chair, but Alber have been good at communicating with my dealer to suggest possible solutions. If the electric part does fail for any reason, then you can switch to manual mode and push the wheelchair like a manual chair.

Overall, the E-Fix provides the power and comfort of a standard powered wheelchair, but with the flexibility of being able to take the chair apart and put it into a standard car boot. It also means you can use whatever manual chair you want (for example, one you already own, which has been custom made to fit you) and just add the power-pack on to it.

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5 out of 5 stars

5 out of 5 stars

5 out of 5 stars

E-Fix Electric Add-on Drive for Wheelchairs

Transport

Alber

Over £200

Really good. Comfortable to use, and the controller has a lot of settings to make it easier to use for people with specific issues (eg. poor hand control, extra sensitivity to harsh braking, etc).

I have had some reliability issues with the E-Fix, but have been assured by my dealer that these are not typical for the E-Fix - and a replacement of the wiring sorted my issues. The benefit of the 'declutching' mechanism is that you can always turn the chair into a manual chair if needed.

The E-Fix is expensive - but I think it is worth it. It turns any chair you already have into a powerchair - and the ability to fit into a standard car boot is amazing, as it means I can go out in anyone's car, without requiring a special vehicle.

  • Mobility

  • I agree to your terms and conditions

-The drive can be individually programmed and can therefore be adapted to your personal needs.

-The electric add-on drive is the simple way to increase your freedom of movement.

-The e-fix can also be easily moved by hand: You uncouple the drive wheels with a handle and your wheelchair can be pushed by hand as usual – either using the push rims or by an attendant. The manual wheels can usually still be used too.

-The components of the add-on drive can be quickly removed from the wheelchair without the need for tools.

Kit includes:

-Two e-fix wheels
-Control unit including handrest
-Control unit bracket
-Battery pack
-Battery holder for the battery pack incl. motor supply lines
-Battery charger
-Operating manual
-Immobiliser key

Optional accessories include:

-Intuitive attendant control
-Swivel arm for the control unit
-Opti-Box
-Speed-Stop/Speed limit switch
-Various joystick options
-Various battery packs
-Spoke cover
-External charger socket
-External On/Off switch
-Bumper bar for the control unit