Nowadays, golfers driving their golf carts from hole to hole around the golf course are not an unusual picture. Moreover, besides a golf course, golf carts are used in different areas of our life, such as airports, university campuses, or parks. However, how many electrical golf cart owners can tell their carts’ range and battery life? Well, you have come to the right place to find answers to electric golf cart range and battery life questions.
Knowing golf cart range and battery life is critical for the proper use of the electric vehicle. New batteries have a typical range of 20 to 40 miles, depending on the model and voltage. Battery lifespan is from several months to seven, or even ten years, depending on use and maintenance.
Batteries are the primary source of energy for electric golf carts. Golf cart owners need to consider both battery limits and their proper use. Considering their cart’s range and life expectancy will give them better awareness and more confidence in the reliability of their small electrical vehicles.
Electric Golf Cart General Overview
Technically, electric golf carts fall into the category of electric cars because they are self-propelled. The small vehicle is designed to carry golf players and their golf clubs around the golf course, but its application nowadays goes far beyond the field of golf. Electric 36V or 48V AC or DC motor powered by a set of batteries propels the golf cart.
Electric golf carts come in different models and dimensions depending on the manufacturer and the purpose of the vehicle. Besides the more classical models, there are customized models, and adjustable models, for disabled persons. Below we present you a list with some characteristics of a modern model of the electric golf cart.
- Model Number: SX-E0906-3A
- Fuel Type: Electric
- Electric Motor: 1000w, 36V, and lower Noise motor
- Battery: 36V 6pcs of 12V 20AH battery
- Recharging Time:8-10 Hours
- Driving Time: 5-6 hours after a full charge
- Maximum speed: 10mph
- Maximum Load: 330 lb.
- Climbing Capacity: 25 degree
- Transmission: Steel chain drive
- Brake: Rear hydraulic brake
- Seats: 1-2
List 1 Source 1
Manufacturers include battery range among the characteristics, presenting qualities of their products speaks eloquently about the importance of this technical feature. Battery range also influences the market demand and is a determinant factor of clients’ choice. Golf cart owners need to know more about the batteries of their carts to get the best service out of them.
Electric Golf Cart Batteries
All-electric vehicles use so-called traction batteries to power their electric motors. Traction batteries are usually rechargeable and differ from ordinary light batteries in their deep power cycle. The total electrical charge available in batteries is measured in ampere-hours or kilowatt-hours. (2)
Lighter and smaller batteries are preferable for electric vehicle manufacturing because they provide the necessary energy density without excessive weight. Such light batteries are lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries, but they are not the only rechargeable batteries used in the electric cars industry. The list below presents the most common types of batteries used for powering electric vehicles, golf carts including.
- Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Lithium-Polymer Batteries
- Lead-Acid Batteries
- Flooded Lead-Acid
- Deep-Cycle Lead-Acid
- Valve Regulated Lead-Acid
- Nickel-Cadmium Batteries
- Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries
- Zink-Air Batteries
- Sodium Nickel Chloride Batteries
List 2 Source 2
Not everyone who uses battery-powered appliances in their daily routines is fully aware of batteries lifespan, range, working cycle, parts of the battery, and how they work. There are different types of batteries, but their primary components are as follows:
- Terminals (positive and negative)
- Case (metal or plastic)
List 3 Source 3
Anode, cathode, electrolyte, separator, and collector interact inside the case, often via a chemical reaction, to produce electricity and charge the load. The charge might be a bulb, a watch, or the electric motor in the case of the golf cart.
Golf cart manufacturers use Lead-acid rechargeable batteries to power the motors of their electric vehicles. Flooded and deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are appropriate for this electric motor because they provide sustained electrical current to run the carts. However, cutting-edge technologies allow manufacturers such as E-Z-GO, for example, to implement Lithium-ion batteries in their golf carts.
Golf Cart Battery Range
The average battery range of a golf cart on a full charge is from 20 to 40 miles and about 100 minutes to the next charge. However, many factors, such as brand, voltage, maintenance, etc., influence the battery range. These factors should be considered by golf cart owners while preparing their golf carts for the next round of the game.
Golf carts are used at the golf course and many other places and for many purposes outside of golf. However, some manufacturers build their deep-cycle batteries only for operating on the golf course. In other words, the golf cart range at the golf course, loaded with players and golf clubs only, may be different from at the airport, loaded with luggage, for example.
The most common type of golf cart battery is the deep-cycle flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery. The average battery range of 20 to 40 miles is based on this new, fully charged battery. However, E-Z-GO promotes to the golf market a new type of lithium-ion RXV model with better overall characteristics.
Golf cart batteries are available commonly in 6V, 8V, and 12V. However, battery range is inversely proportional to the voltage volume, meaning that smaller is better. This maxim means that a 48V golf cart with a combination of 6 batteries by 8V each will have a more extended range than a 48V golf cart with a combination of 4 batteries by 12V.
One of the most significant factors that affect battery range is age. A brand new set of batteries has a formatting period of 10-20 charging cycles, during which it will not reach its maximum capacity. Then after a particular time of maximum productivity, batteries’ run time will gradually decrease approaching the end of their lifespan.
Type Of Electric Motor
The type of electric motor that batteries power reflects on their range too. Providing that Alternating Current (AC) electric motors are more powerful and more efficient than Direct Current (DC) motors, their batteries also differ. The efficiency of a set of batteries powering an AC motor is 15-20% higher than a set of batteries supplying a DC motor.
Golf Cart Controller
The effect of the golf cart controller on batteries is just the opposite of the effect of the AC motor. The more powerful controller is, the faster it drains the batteries. Powerful controllers reduce the battery range of an electric golf cart significantly.
Speed is another major factor that affects the golf cart range. Manufacturers often construct their carts with a speed capacity higher than the common for a golf course 12-15 mph. However, driving at a higher speed comes at the expense of the runtime of the batteries.
Tire pressure is the next significant factor that affects the golf cart range. Lower tire pressure while driving causes more friction and drag, which consequently makes the motor work harder and drain the batteries faster. The appropriate tire pressure for a standard golf electric golf cart should be 22 psi.
Golf Course Terrain
Finally, yet significantly, the golf course’s terrain or other areas where you will drive the golf cart also matters. A flat terrain drains the batteries far slower than a hilly and bumpy ground. Wet or muddy soil will also burden the motor work and consequently reduce battery-run.
State Of Charge
Research studying the options of an additional power source attached to an electric golf cart offered a different approach to the golf cart range. Conducting tests on an average golf course distance, researchers found that a golf cart with lead-acid batteries should have a state of charge (SOC) not less than 30% at the end of the day, which is at most three trips around the golf course. Below we illustrate the correlation between the battery range and the SOC after every trip.
- Autonomy (mi.) – 20
- Charge ini (Ah) – 94,5
- Charge finᵃ(Ah) – 76,83
- SOC ini (%) – 90,0
- SOC finᵃ (%) – 73,17
- SOC finᵇ (Ah) – 56,34
- SOC finᶜ (Ah) – 39,51
List 4, a, b, and c represent the 1, 2, and 3 trips around the course; Source 4
Although this promotes an additional source of power to increase the range of the golf cart with two more trips, it displays the batteries range through the prism of the available trips around the golf course. Presented this way, battery range reveals the expectations every golfer should have from his or her golf cart during the game. It also highlights some technical aspects of battery maintenance, such as draining batteries below 30% reduces their lifespan.
Golf Cart Battery Life Expectancy
Golf cart battery life expectancy is essential for every golfer because it provides pace, effectiveness, comfort, and mobility to the game. However, a longer lifespan of golf cart batteries depends on the responsible attitude of their owners. The better they take care of their batteries, the more they extend their life expectancy.
Golf cart range depends on both golf cart battery range and life expectancy. Battery range is directly proportional to batteries ’lifespan. The less life a battery has, due to the age, the less range it can cover.
The life expectancy of an electric golf cart is said to be from seven months to seven years under ideal conditions. However, conditions are rarely ideal, therefore similar to the range, the lifespan strongly depends on the use and care of the batteries. Shortening the golf cart battery life to seven months is possible only under extreme conditions, such as storage in a hot garage without being charged.
Regarding the use of golf carts, we should distinguish between privately owned golf carts and carts included in the golf course fleets, for example. Golf course fleets usually are used much more intensively than private golf carts. Consequently, fleet cart batteries last about 4 to 6 years, while private, well-cared golf cart battery packs may last up to 10 years.
Another subfactor that influences both range and lifespan of the batteries is the level of items that a golf cart has. Headlights and taillights of the golf cart will additionally reduce the range and life of its battery. A speed capacity above 15 mph used regularly will also drain batteries faster and impact their lifespan negatively.
As we already mentioned several times, proper care and maintenance of the golf cart batteries are critical to a more extended battery range and lifespan. Proper battery maintenance will make your golf cart more reliable and will save you a lot of money. Be aware that when it is time to replace your old batteries, you cannot replace only one or two, but you need to replace the whole set.
Proper Charging And Discharging
One of the vital maintenance requirements that affect batteries’ lifespan is their proper charging. Deep cycle batteries should not be left to discharge below 50% of their capacity. Waiting until the battery charge indicator light flashes is not recommendable because it would mean a dangerously low charge level in batteries.
Another maintenance requirement that affects the life expectancy of golf cart batteries is the correct watering. You should regularly check the water/electrolyte level in your deep cycle lead-acid batteries to avoid possible under-watering. Be careful watering or over-watering can damage your golf cart batteries and reduce their lifespan.
Of course, to check your golf cart batteries regularly, you need to know how to do that and the correct water level. Additionally, you have to be familiar with the type of water appropriate for topping up the batteries. It is also essential to know that you should water golf cart batteries after a full charge unless the water level is below the battery plates.
Cleaning golf cart batteries may look like a routine operation, but it is essential. The cleaning, especially terminals and cables, prevents batteries from corrosion and expands their life span. Another option to prevent corrosion is to use different battery covers available on the market.
Battery additives are recommendable means to extend your golf cart battery life expectancy. An additive such as Battery De-Mister will fight corrosion successfully and keep the water level high longer than usual. Against sulfation, which is another enemy of cart batteries, Battery De-Sulfate is an appropriate additive.
Electric Golf Cart Storage
In many cases, when golf cart owners store their small electrical vehicles, they forget about their batteries. Such behavior leads to the discharge of the batteries and even to battery death. If the charge in batteries has reached a critically low level, a regular charger would not be able to activate them again.
Golf cart batteries need to be checked and fully charged at least once per month. The temperatures also matter–storage in higher temperatures will discharge your batteries faster than keeping them in cooler temperatures. If you store your golf cart, you can leave batteries in it, but you have to wire them in series, ready for a charge if you want to store batteries only.
When talking about golf cart battery maintenance, we should necessarily mention the safety measures. Working with electrolytes, acids, and electricity requires higher caution and safety precautions. Precautions prevent burns, explosions, eye damage, or other dangers to human health.
Wear protective clothing, especially goggles, and rubber gloves while servicing the battery of your golf cart. Carefully check the power connections and contacts before performing any battery and charger maintenance. Some statistics point to battery chargers as one of the most common causes of fires, attracting additional attention.
The Three Highest Charged FAQ
How Long Does A 48V Golf Cart Last?
The distance will depend on the type of the motor, battery condition, golf cart brand, etc. However, if we take an E-Z-GO RXV golf cart in optimal conditions, with an AC motor and a new pack of batteries, the distance values will be as follows: A maximum run of 102 minutes at 56 amps and a maximum range of 20,5 miles, 12 mph, three rounds, or 54 holes.
Should I Charge My Golf Cart After Every Use?
It would help if you charged your golf cart batteries after every use. It will prevent batteries from critical discharge and will get them ready for subsequent use. However, avoid overcharging your golf cart batteries, too, because it can damage them.
Does The Water In Golf Cart Batteries Freeze?
The water in golf cart batteries can freeze under certain circumstances. The freezing temperature of electrolyte in a fully charged battery is – 92 ̊ F, but when the state-of-charge decreases, the electrolyte becomes like water and freezes quickly. The electrolyte will freeze at a 40% state of charge if the temperature reaches about 16 ̊ F.
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- Wikipedia, “Electric Vehicle Battery.” Wikimedia Foundation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_vehicle_battery#Range_parity Assessed June 9, t
- Marshall Brain, Charles W. Bryant & Clint Pumphrey. “How Batteries Work.” HowStuffWorks, https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/everyday-tech/battery.htm Assessed June 10, 2021
- Edwin Grijalva et al., “Design and Simulation of a Powertrain System for a Fuel Cell Extended Range Electric Golf Car,” ResearchGate, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326215009_Design_and_Simulation_of_a_Powertrain_System_for_a_Fuel_Cell_Extended_Range_Electric_Golf_Car Assessed June 11, 2021