If you’ve ever gone for a ride in your golf cart, about halfway into your trip, you start to wonder how long do golf cart batteries last on one charge. Typically, an electric golf cart with new batteries will go anywhere between 25 to 40 miles depending on the battery configuration, the model, and voltage of the cart.
Golf carts are powered by either a 4-stroke internal combustion engine or a 48v electric AC or DC motor. Originally, these vehicles were only electrically powered, but with time, gasoline-powered variants started to emerge.
Most communities prefer the electric version over gas powered carts for several reasons:
- Zero pollution
- Low operating noise
- Safety for pedestrians and other carts (due to slow speeds).
This article talks about the electric variant of golf carts and the maximum range this vehicle can achieve on a single charge.
As golf carts are powered by deep cycle lead acid batteries, their operating range depends on the age of the batteries and how they have been maintained through their operating life.
An electric golf cart with new batteries will go anywhere between 25 to 40 miles depending on the battery configuration, the model, and voltage of the cart.
You can also see golf carts go beyond 50 miles on a single charge, although you might not want to do that since it can shorten the battery life and can leave you stranded if the battery depletes beyond its power usage. Check out our golf cart maintenance and troubleshooting checklist for other tips.
Another difference within electric powered golf carts is the type of motors they use. Usually, the AC drive is more efficient than the DC drive.
Electric golf carts are awesome and easy to use. You don’t have to do much to maintain them and they have zero emissions.
Golf carts whether electric or gasoline powered, come in 2 major seating configurations; 4 seaters and 2 seaters. The 2 seater carts always perform better and offer more running range, at the cost of hauling less people and less luggage.
Obviously, more weight, i.e. four passengers vs. two, the range will decrease. This is because the extra weight of the body and other operating parts put more strain on the drivetrain, requiring more power to move as compared to the lighter 2-seater cart.
A typical round of golf will require about 40 minutes of run time while discharged at 56 amps. With all three configurations, the batteries have more than enough capacity to get through two rounds.
But you’ll also want to look at the battery’s depth of discharge or DOD. The depth of discharge is what the battery’s capacity is as a percentage of the overall capacity before recharging it.
All batteries have an ultimate number of cycles that you can discharge and recharge. If you can keep the depth of discharge low in batteries, then you can increase the number of cycles. On average, if you only discharge a battery to 30 percent consistently, then you can increase the life span by about 2.2 times versus a battery that is discharged to 60 percent.
6-volt and 8-volt batteries will discharge less than 12-volts, so they’ll last longer.
The whole science behind a deep cycle battery is the lead in it. The more lead, the more charging capability, the more run time. Cheaper batteries have less lead than more expensive batteries.
Also, a cheaper battery can weigh almost 15 pounds lighter than a well-made more expensive unit. This equates to less run time and less power to all the electrical components. This means that the cheaper batteries put more of a strain on the electrical components and they wear out faster.
Fortunately for folks who would like to maintain their batteries to achieve more running time per charge cycle and ensuring more battery life, there are a number of ways to make sure they remain in top notch condition.
It is particularly important to maintain and charge your batteries properly. If you overcharge your batteries, you could damage them and reduce their life. You can easily do this by getting an automatic charger that shuts off after it full charges the battery. If you have an older model type, then you’ll have to remember to turn it off. Better yet, just get the newer automatic ones. If you think your charger is having issues, there are ways to test your golf cart battery charger.
Batteries need to get fully charged between uses. Using your golf cart when your batteries aren’t fully charged leads to hard sulfation and can affect battery performance and the range of your batteries. Make sure your batteries have enough time to complete a charge cycle before using your cart. If possible, charge your batteries every day that you use an electric golf cart. Do not drive the vehicle until the battery dies; lead-acid batteries will not last as long if you completely discharge them. It is also advantageous to begin charging a golf cart battery when there’s enough time to fully charge it before your next trip.
You should always keep your golf cart batteries clean and check their fluid level every month. You can just pop off the tops and peek in to see the water levels. Make sure that the water is higher than the plates, but not too full. You can also use a battery watering system to help with the process. You can also use a turkey baster to make sure you can get the right amount in each cell.
The hotter the temp, the quicker the set of batteries will discharge. The older the batteries, the more frequently you need to check your water levels. Older batteries use more water. Correctly watering your flooded lead-acid batteries is the most important battery maintenance tip. Water loss must be replaced to prevent battery plate damage. Never allow the electrolyte level to fall below the plates. The worst thing you can do to electric golf cart batteries is to let them sit in a hot garage without ever charging them. Avoid running your golf cart on a low charge as this can be very hard on your batteries and can shorten their running range.
Today, we love adding all the fun accessories to our golf carts. From speakers to fancy lights and other things that can eat up battery usage. Make sure you turn off your golf cart when you park her and make sure all those accessories are also turned off.
The way you drive your golf cart can affect the batteries. Things like going uphill or carrying a large load for a long period can reduce the batteries function quickly.
If you take care of your golf cart and batteries, they should last you 5 years or so. When it comes time to replace your batteries, replace all of them. Do not mix new and used batteries. Your running range per charge cycle will massively decrease if you mix old batteries with new.
And if you’re buying a used golf cart, make sure to follow the used golf cart checklist when looking at the different golf carts to buy.