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Golf cart batteries come in different types and sizes. They are the fuel that powers electric golf carts today, and they are used by other people apart from golfers. You can commonly see people driving electric golf carts in most retirement communities and beach towns.
You will also find them in many parks, resorts, and zoos as maintenance vehicles.
The best part is that they are environmentally friendly as they don’t have a loud engine or release any fumes into the atmosphere.
Most people don’t spend time thinking about their golf cart batteries, but understanding how to maintain them and how they work is vital to ensure your golf cart performs at optimum levels. How the battery system is configured will impact the run time, speed, and acceleration of the golf cart.
You might be interested in finding cheaper replacement for your golf cart batteries and wonder if you can use normal car batteries instead. Some people just don’t really have access to golf cart batteries and only have car batteries nearby.
But will normally car batteries work with a golf cart?
You can use regular car batteries in a golf cart however they won’t work very well. Standard car batteries will work temporarily for your golf cart but it isn’t a good long term solution.
The standard batteries used in cars have 12-volts, and connecting three or four in a series will offer you the necessary 36 or 48 volts to power your golf cart.
However, car batteries are designed differently, which means they only offer huge current surges for short periods. Normal golf cart batteries are deep cycle and normal car batteries are not.
The primary role of a car battery is to start the engine by providing sufficient power. Once the engine starts, the alternator comes on and powers all the vehicle’s electronics. So, even though you can use car batteries in your golf cart, they won’t last you very long.
Deep-cycle batteries are a better alternative because they have been designed to offer a steady output of current for long periods and can be deeply discharged repeatedly. That makes them the best choice for use in golf carts.
Therefore, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the golf cart’s battery system. This guide will reflect on that, so you don’t have any problems with the battery of your electric golf cart. Let’s get started.
What Are Golf Cart Batteries?
On average, the motor of your electric golf cart runs at 36 or 48 volts while drawing between 50 to 70 amps of current. That allows them to cruise at a speed of 15 miles per hour.
You should know that when going up a hill or accelerating, the current draw will be higher. Golf cart batteries need to have a stable high current for sustained periods to keep moving.
Most golf cart batteries only require one charge to get you through the day. You should ensure that the battery is properly charged before taking your golf cart out for a drive, as riding with a battery below 50% will cause reduced performance and shorten the battery’s lifespan.
Golf carts have deep-cycle batteries that have been built and designed with superior durability to sustain frequent deep discharging and prolonged current draw. These batteries are available in six, eight, and twelve-volt configurations, and you get voltage when they are wired in a series.
For instance, connecting six 6-volt batteries in a series will offer 36 volts of power.
Low voltage batteries tend to have an amp-hour capacity that is higher. For instance, if you want your golf cart motor to get 48 volts, you will need to connect eight 6-volt batteries in a series, as they will run longer and have more capacity.
Golf Cart Battery Types: Lead Acid Vs. AGM Vs. Lithium
Today, the three main types of deep-cycle batteries used in golf carts are lead-acid, AGM, and lithium batteries. It can be tricky to decide between them as each has its pros and cons.
I will put them up against one another to help you choose the best golf cart battery.
• Lead-Acid batteries
The lowest cost and most common deep-cycle batteries used in golf carts today are lead-acid batteries. They are made of lead plates that have been suspended in a solution of sulfuric acid, which causes a chemical reaction and allows the storing of energy.
The best part about lead-acid batteries is that their upfront cost is the lowest. However, compared to other golf batteries, they are the heaviest, have the shortest lifespan, and require the most maintenance.
• AGM batteries
AGM or (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are a lead-acid battery variation that is sealed. The lead plates are placed between fiberglass mats that have been electrolyte saturated in AGM batteries. The AGM construction of the battery ensures you don’t need to refill the battery fluids and seal them, which makes them free of any leaks.
AGM batteries are a good option because they don’t need much maintenance. Still, the only downside of using them in golf carts is that they are significantly more expensive and don’t offer additional capacity.
• Lithium-Ion batteries
Most golf carts use deep-cycle lithium iron phosphate (LiFeO4) batteries, which shouldn’t be confused with lithium batteries that run electronics around your home.
The best part about LiFeO4 batteries is that they offer a steady current output and are the most stable and safest Li-ion batteries.
Whether you’re cruising around your retirement community, the beach, or heading out to play a round of golf with your friends, you need a golf cart battery that is reliable. No one wants to be stranded in the middle of the road or the golf course.
While you can use regular car batteries in your golf cart, you shouldn’t rely on them because they aren’t the most stable and won’t work for very long.
If you want to keep your golf cart running for longer periods and minimize maintenance, you should opt for lithium-ion deep cycle batteries for your electric golf cart. They can save you money over time and ensure that your golf cart performs reliably in the long run as well.