Can I safely charge my power wheelchair abroad?

There are two things you need to consider when charging your power wheelchair in a different country. The first is the most obvious — the electrical outlet type. Will your charging cable fit into the socket?

International power outlet types.

As you can see, power outlets come in a lot of different shapes and sizes! The design of electrical outlets varies by country and region, so I highly recommend that you pack a plug adapter. I travel with the LOOP World Adapter Plug which is small, sturdy and simple to use.

The second consideration is power voltage.

Electricity is delivered at 120 volts in the United States, but that’s not true everywhere.

Two of the most important electrical appliances I travel with are my power wheelchair and electric razor. Both use a 120V charger. If I were to plug either of those into an outlet with a higher power voltage, such as a 230V outlet in London, there could be sparks or even a fire. For the power wheelchair user, any of these reactions would leave the wheelchair or its off-board charging unit inoperable.

When traveling to a country with a different electrical voltage, whether higher or lower, you’ll need to do one of two things:

  • Check to see if your wheelchair has a dual voltage charger — Some wheelchairs come with a dual voltage charger. Check your owners’ manual to see if it supports charging at both 120V and 240V. If so, you’re good to go! Just don’t forget to buy a plug adapter.
Power transformer device, pictured front and back.
  • Purchase a power voltage transformer — If your power wheelchair doesn’t support dual voltage charging (most do not), you’ll need to purchase a step-up/step-down power transformer. Transformers safely convert the electricity current from the wall outlet into the voltage necessary for charging your wheelchair. The devices typically weigh 5 to 10 pounds and cost about $50. I recommend the Rockstone Power Voltage Transformer, which is also equipped with a USB port for charging mobile devices.

REMEMBER that plug adapters allow you to connect a device to a wall outlet, but do not correct the underlying differences of voltage and frequency.

What are the power voltages in other countries?

Check this list of countries to see if the power voltage is different from the one in your home country and if you’ll need a power transformer to charge your wheelchair.

Afghanistan220 V50 Hz
Albania230 V50 Hz
Algeria230 V50 Hz
American Samoa120 V60 Hz
Andorra230 V50 Hz
Angola220 V50 Hz
Anguilla110 V60 Hz
Antigua and Barbuda230 V60 Hz
Argentina220 V50 Hz
Armenia230 V50 Hz
Aruba120 V60 Hz
Australia230 V50 Hz
Austria230 V50 Hz
Azerbaijan220 V50 Hz
Azores230 V50 Hz
Bahamas120 V60 Hz
Bahrain230 V50 Hz
Bangladesh220 V50 Hz
Barbados115 V50 Hz
Belarus220 V50 Hz
Belgium230 V50 Hz
Belize110 V + 220 V60 Hz
Benin220 V50 Hz
Bermuda120 V60 Hz
Bhutan230 V50 Hz
Bolivia230 V50 Hz
Bonaire127 V50 Hz
Bosnia & Herzegovina230 V50 Hz
Botswana230 V50 Hz
Brazil127 V + 220 V60 Hz
British Virgin Islands110 V60 Hz
Brunei240 V50 Hz
Bulgaria230 V50 Hz
Burkina Faso220 V50 Hz
Burundi220 V50 Hz
Cambodia230 V50 Hz
Cameroon220 V50 Hz
Canada120 V60 Hz
Canary Islands230 V50 Hz
Cape Verde230 V50 Hz
Cayman Islands120 V60 Hz
Central African Republic220 V50 Hz
Chad220 V50 Hz
Chile220 V50 Hz
China220 V50 Hz
Colombia110 V60 Hz
Comoros220 V50 Hz
Congo (Democratic Republic)220 V50 Hz
Congo (Republic)230 V50 Hz
Cook Islands240 V50 Hz
Costa Rica120 V60 Hz
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)220 V50 Hz
Croatia230 V50 Hz
Cuba110 V + 220 V60 Hz
Curaçao127 V50 Hz
Cyprus230 V50 Hz
Czech Republic230 V50 Hz
Denmark230 V50 Hz
Djibouti220 V50 Hz
Dominica230 V50 Hz
Dominican Republic120 V60 Hz
East Timor220 V50 Hz
Ecuador120 V60 Hz
Egypt220 V50 Hz
El Salvador120 V60 Hz
Equatorial Guinea220 V50 Hz
Eritrea230 V50 Hz
Estonia230 V50 Hz
Ethiopia220 V50 Hz
Faroe Islands230 V50 Hz
Falkland Islands240 V50 Hz
Fiji240 V50 Hz
Finland230 V50 Hz
France230 V50 Hz
French Guiana220 V50 Hz
Gabon220 V50 Hz
Gambia230 V50 Hz
Georgia220 V50 Hz
Germany230 V50 Hz
Ghana230 V50 Hz
Gibraltar230 V50 Hz
Greece230 V50 Hz
Greenland230 V50 Hz
Granada230 V50 Hz
Guadeloupe230 V50 Hz
Guam110 V60 Hz
Guatemala120 V60 Hz
Guinea220 V50 Hz
Guyana120 V + 240 V60 Hz
Haiti110 V60 Hz
Honduras120 V60 Hz
Hong Kong220 V50 Hz
Hungary230 V50 Hz
Iceland230 V50 Hz
India230 V50 Hz
Indonesia230 V50 Hz
Iran230 V50 Hz
Iraq230 V50 Hz
Ireland230 V50 Hz
Isle of Man230 V50 Hz
Israel230 V50 Hz
Italy230 V50 Hz
Jamaica110 V50 Hz
Japan100 V50 Hz + 60 Hz
Jordan230 V50 Hz
Kazakhstan220 V50 Hz
Kenya240 V50 Hz
Kiribati240 V50 Hz
Kosovo230 V50 Hz
Kuwait240 V50 Hz
Kyrgyzstan220 V50 Hz
Laos230 V50 Hz
Latvia230 V50 Hz
Lebanon230 V50 Hz
Lesotho220 V50 Hz
Liberia120 V + 220 V60 Hz
Libya230 V50 Hz
Liechtenstein230 V50 Hz
Lithuania230 V50 Hz
Luxembourg230 V50 Hz
Macau220 V50 Hz
Macedonia230 V50 Hz
Madagascar220 V50 Hz
Madeira230 V50 Hz
Malawi230 V50 Hz
Malaysia240 V50 Hz
Maldives230 V50 Hz
Mali220 V50 Hz
Malta230 V50 Hz
Marshall Islands120 V60 Hz
Martinique220 V50 Hz
Mauritania220 V50 Hz
Mauritius230 V50 Hz
Mayotte230 V50 Hz
Mexico120 V60 Hz
Micronesia120 V60 Hz
Moldova230 V50 Hz
Monaco230 V50 Hz
Mongolia230 V50 Hz
Montenegro230 V50 Hz
Montserrat230 V60 Hz
Morocco220 V50 Hz
Mozambique220 V50 Hz
Myanmar (Burma)230 V50 Hz
Namibia220 V50 Hz
Nauru240 V50 Hz
Nepal230 V50 Hz
Netherlands230 V50 Hz
New Caledonia220 V50 Hz
New Zealand230 V50 Hz
Nicaragua110 V60 Hz
Niger220 V50 Hz
Nigeria230 V50 Hz
North Korea220 V50 Hz
Norway230 V50 Hz
Oman240 V50 Hz
Pakistan230 V50 Hz
Palau120 V60 Hz
Palestine230 V50 Hz
Panama120 V60 Hz
Papua New Guinea240 V50 Hz
Paraguay220 V50 Hz
Peru220 V60 Hz
Philippines220 V60 Hz
Poland230 V50 Hz
Portugal230 V50 Hz
Puerto Rico120 V60 Hz
Qatar240 V50 Hz
Réunion230 V50 Hz
Romania230 V50 Hz
Russia220 V50 Hz
Rwanda230 V50 Hz
Saba110 V60 Hz
Saint Barthélemy230 V60 Hz
Saint Kitts and Nevis230 V60 Hz
Saint Lucia230 V50 Hz
Saint Martin220 V60 Hz
Saint Helena230 V50 Hz
Sint Maarten 110 V60 Hz
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines1120 V + 230 V50 Hz
Samoa230 V50 Hz
San Marino230 V50 Hz
Saudi Arabia220 V60 Hz
Senegal230 V50 Hz
Serbia230 V50 Hz
Seychelles240 V50 Hz
Sierra Leone230 V50 Hz
Singapore230 V50 Hz
Slovakia230 V50 Hz
Slovenia230 V50 Hz
Somalia220 V50 Hz
South Africa230 V50 Hz
South Korea220 V60 Hz
South Sudan230 V50 Hz
Spain230 V50 Hz
Sri Lanka230 V50 Hz
Sudan230 V50 Hz
Suriname127 V + 220 V60 Hz
Swaziland230 V50 Hz
Sweden230 V50 Hz
Switzerland230 V50 Hz
Syria220 V50 Hz
Tahiti220 V50 Hz + 60 Hz
Taiwan110 V60 Hz
Tajikistan220 V50 Hz
Tanzania230 V50 Hz
Thailand230 V50 Hz
Togo220 V50 Hz
Tonga240 V50 Hz
Trinidad & Tobago115 V60 Hz
Tunisia230 V50 Hz
Turkey230 V50 Hz
Turkmenistan220 V50 Hz
Turks and Caicos120 V60 Hz
Uganda240 V50 Hz
Ukraine230 V50 Hz
United Arab Emirates230 V50 Hz
United Kingdom230 V50 Hz
United States120 V60 Hz
Uruguay220 V50 Hz
U.S. Virgin Islands110 V60 Hz
Uzbekistan220 V50 Hz
Vatican City230 V50 Hz
Venezuela120 V60 Hz
Vietnam220 V50 Hz
Yemen230 V50 Hz
Zambia230 V50 Hz
Zimbabwe240 V50 Hz

If you have any questions about charging a power wheelchair while traveling internationally, ask them in the comments below!