The heart of every electric golf cart is its set of batteries. Golf cart batteries come in different voltages (V) namely 6V, 8V, and 12V. The number of cells helps determine the voltage of a certain battery. The battery cap identifies the cell with one cell representing 2 volts. So, for a 6V battery there are 3 cells, for an 8V there are 4 cells, and 6 cells for a 12V battery. Golf carts are powered by either 36 volts or 48 volts.
Focusing on the 48-volt golf cart, its battery system may be composed of the following: eight 6V batteries, six 8V batteries, or four 12V batteries. Although those three systems produce the same output of 48 volts, the amperage is different among the systems mentioned. A golf cart’s amperage determines its range. This being said, the distance that the golf cart can travel in one single full charge is dependent on its amperage.
How Long Will a 48 Volt Golf Cart Run?
A 48 volt golf cart, depending on its amperage can go from 12 miles to 35 miles. Below are the approximate distances that golf carts can travel according to the battery system it utilizes using a capacity rate of 20 Amp-Hour.
- For a 4 x 12V battery system, its amperage is approximately 600 amps resulting in a travel distance of approximately 12 miles.
- For a 6 x 8V battery system, its amperage is approximately 1,020 amps resulting in a travel distance of approximately 19 miles.
- For an 8 x 6V battery system, its amperage is approximately 1,800 amps resulting in a travel distance of approximately 25 miles.
How long the battery will last in a single full charge is affected by the speed and acceleration. With a speed of 20 MPH, the following are the run times of 48 volt golf carts for different battery systems.
- For a 4 x 12V battery system, considering a travel distance of approximately 12 miles, the golf cart can run up to 36 minutes.
- For a 6 x 8V battery system, considering a travel distance of approximately 19 miles, the golf cart can run up to 57 minutes.
- For an 8 x 6V battery system, considering a travel distance of approximately 25 miles, the golf cart can run up to 75 minutes.
Knowing the run times of an electric golf cart, it is very important not to run the vehicle down to a near-empty or fully discharged state where it will no longer operate. It is best to practice using the golf cart down to half its discharge rate and then charge again.
And even if the golf cart is driven for a very short period, as long as it is used during the day, then the battery needs to be charged. Do not overcharge as well. Both overcharging and undercharging can cause damage to the golf cart.
What Is the Best Battery for 48 Volt Golf Cart?
Most frequent golfers buy their own golf carts because it is way more convenient and practical compared to renting one each time they play a round of golf.
One of the very first things to consider are the batteries to be used with the golf cart. The three best batteries for 48 volt golf carts are the following with its pros and cons:
Trojan T-105 Batteries
Combining speed, power, and quality the Trojan battery packs are undoubtedly the best to be considered in choosing golf cart batteries.
- A top quality brand using the latest technology
- Long lifespan (up to 750 charges and 200 rounds of golf)
- Battery discharge is slower providing for a longer run time
- Cheapest amp-per-hour battery
- With a full replacement warranty of two years
- High maintenance battery
- Heavy on the pocket
- Weighing in at 62 pounds, it is somewhat heavy
Universal Power Group (UPG) UB12350 Battery
A sealed lead acid battery, the UPG UB12350 is a powerful, state-of-the-art golf cart battery with a performance that is comparable to Trojan batteries. A great value for money, this battery is one of the best choices to invest in.
- Uses Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology that provides reliability and maximum efficiency
- Almost completely maintenance-free
- Low self-discharge
- Charges fast
- Can be used in all terrains
- Cannot be discharged below 50% its capacity
- Can degrade fast if not properly maintained
Amstron GC2 6V AGM Golf Cart Battery
Amstron promises a totally maintenance-free sealed unit that is technologically advanced and entirely heavy-duty. Spending extra money for this battery is totally worth it.
- Long life cycle
- No freezing
- Fast charging
- Low discharge rate
- Can withstand shock or vibration
- Versatile – can also be used in other vehicles such as RVs and marine vehicles
- Heavy at 68 pounds
How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Batteries?
Even the best golf cart batteries need to be replaced. When the batteries already take a longer charging time, it is a cue to install a new set of batteries. And one of the most expensive maintenance not only for golf carts, but for all vehicles, are the batteries.
In general, golf cart battery replacements in the market today are priced between $800 to $1500. Major factors that dictate the price are the voltage and the brand.
The voltage of the battery is a critical factor since it is indicative of the power it can provide for the golf cart. Obviously, when the price of a battery is high, the voltage is also higher.
This is also true with the brand. Although it is not true to all, but most of the time, better brands provide high-quality batteries. And of course, branded products cost more so it is a factor that needs serious consideration especially if the buyer is on a tight budget.
The battery system also plays a big role in the cost of replacing the batteries. Using 12V batteries means only 4 batteries are needed so it is less expensive than eight 6V batteries. But do not forget that the 4 x 12V has a lower range compared to the 8 x 6V system.
Aside from the price of the batteries, the cost to replace the batteries also include installation fees that is no more than $50. Although owners can replace the batteries themselves, it is best to leave it to the experts. Improper installation may lead to problems that will cost more than the installation fee.
Some extra costs that will be incurred in replacing the batteries are the battery charger (if the old charger is not compatible with the replacement batteries) and shipping fees (for online orders).
Can You Put Car Batteries in a Golf Cart?
You cannot put car batteries in a golf cart. If you would really insist, it will come as a big disappointment using them instead of golf cart batteries. Car batteries, unlike golf cart batteries, are not designed to power an entire vehicle but only for starting it up and running some of the car accessories.
The discharge rate of car batteries is much lower compared to golf cart batteries. A car battery provides a large amount of current but only for a short period of time. This means that car batteries cannot be used as the golf cart’s primary power source because they drain faster than golf cart batteries when used for a longer time than its intended use.
Golf cart batteries are designed to power a vehicle for a longer time period. Although the power the batteries provide are lower than what car batteries give, it is just the right amount of power to run golf carts. Besides, golf cart batteries do not need to start a large engine which car batteries do.
In contrast with a car battery that does not need frequent recharging, golf cart batteries must be charged every after use. And it is important to have them fully charged before every use to lengthen the batteries’ lifespan.
Having the battery as its only source of power, a golf cart needs to be powered by a reliable system that could operate it for an extended period. Car batteries will not be able to provide such golf cart requirements.
Golf cart batteries are made for golf carts, so it is best to stick with that logic. In the same way that you cannot use a car battery in a golf cart, you cannot use a golf cart battery for your car as well. Although some golf cart batteries may be used for other vehicles but not for cars.
In summary, the battery system specifies the number of batteries in a 48 volt golf cart. With batteries in 6V, 8V, and 12V configurations, 48 volt golf carts can either have 8, 6, and 4 batteries in them respectively. Multiplying the number of batteries to its voltage will give us 48 volts.
How many batteries in a 48 volt Golf cart or any other voltage can also give an indication of how long the golf can run and how far it can go. Moreover, the cost of replacing the batteries can also be influenced by the golf cart’s battery system.
Having fewer batteries in the golf cart may save you on the cost of replacing them. But considering the performance and how long the battery system can power the vehicle, it calls for choosing between saving now but replacing soon or spending extra now and saving in the long run. Whichever way one chooses, proper maintenance is key to get the best out of the battery’s performance.