Golf Cart Batteries: How to Choose the Best Option for You
Golf cart batteries are the heart of golf carts. These vehicles are perfect for traveling medium distances when playing golf, enjoying time at the country club, and other activities. To ensure you know how to pick a quality battery with a long life span, you should learn the basics about golf cart batteries.
There are many golf cart battery options available. Some of the most common ones are the 6-volt golf cart batteries, but there are 48V, 36V, 12V, and even 8-volt ones. Some battery technologies like AGM and lithium-ion golf cart batteries provide you with a better capacity, durability, and efficiency.
Here, you will learn everything you need to know about these batteries, from choosing among different battery types, available technologies, how to perform proper charging, to knowing how to pick the right model for your golf cart. We even reviewed some of the best golf cart batteries available and included a buying guide to help you choose the best option for you.
- Understanding Golf Cart Batteries
- What Are Golf Cart Batteries and Their Advantages?
- What Are the Main Golf Cart Battery Types?
- How Do Golf Cart Batteries Operate?
- How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last?
- How to Test Golf Cart Batteries?
- How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last on One Charge?
- How Would You Know When Golf Cart Batteries Are Dying?
- Review Section/Top Golf Cart Battery Picks
- Buyer’s Guide
- Top Rated Golf Cart Batteries
Understanding Golf Cart Batteries
To pick the best golf cart battery, it is important to first learn the basics. Here are the most common questions and answers about battery life span for electric golf cart batteries, how to test batteries, how to determine their duration, and more.
What Are Golf Cart Batteries and Their Advantages?
Golf cart batteries are different from car starter batteries. They are deep-cycle batteries that can be deeply discharged when powering electric golf cart batteries for several miles. Some outstanding golf cart deep-cycle battery manufacturers are Trojan, Lifeline, Amstron, Ampere Time, and Expert Power.
These batteries have several advantages when compared with other models. They have longer life spans, great capacities, resistant casings, and even have the proper terminals for this electric vehicle.
What Are the Main Golf Cart Battery Types?
There are different battery types like the Flooded, Gel, AGM, and Lithium golf cart batteries. Lithium-ion golf cart batteries have high capacities but also come at a high price. Sealed lead-acid (SLA) Gel and AGM golf cart batteries have a good capacity, amperage, and performance for only a fraction of the price. Flooded batteries have a low price, but they have low depths of discharge and require regular maintenance. The AGM battery is one of the best options available for golf carts.
How Do Golf Cart Batteries Operate?
Golf cart batteries operate similar to other batteries. They use chemicals like lithium salts or sulfuric acid for the electrolyte and have plates that work as the anode and cathode. When discharged, the battery goes through a chemical reaction that generates an electrical current that powers the load. Meanwhile, the opposite reaction occurs when the battery is being charged.
How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last?
Some of the best golf cart batteries have warranties of 4–5 years. With proper usage by discharging it to the recommended 50% depth of discharge (DOD) and charging it with the parameters set by the manufacturer, a golf cart battery can last for 6 years or more.
How to Test Golf Cart Batteries?
The simplest way to test a golf cart battery is using a voltmeter. The voltage reading will indicate if the battery is properly working. Some golf carts require 6- or 8-volt golf cart batteries, while others requiring 36V or 48 volt golf cart batteries might have several 6V or 12V golf cart batteries in series.
Each battery should read a voltage close to or superior to its nominal voltage. Six-volt golf cart batteries read 6.2–6.3V. You can use this to calculate the voltage for your battery. For instance, 36-volt golf cart batteries are the same as 6 x 6V batteries, and they should read 37.2–37.8V.
How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last on One Charge?
The distance a golf cart can ride with a single charge depends on the cart consumption and battery capacity. 12V Golf carts consuming 56 amps at 12 mph might run for 102 minutes or 54 holes with 100Ah 12-volt golf cart batteries. 8V golf carts with 56 amps consumption at 12 mph might ride for 23.4 miles or nearly 60 holes with 115 Ah 8v golf cart batteries installed.
How Would You Know When Golf Cart Batteries Are Dying?
The best way to know if your golf cart battery is dying is to test it with a voltmeter. Each battery should give a reading equal to or superior to its nominal voltage. 6V batteries should read 6.2–6.3 volts. If the battery reads 4V, it means the battery is dead. For instance, 48-volt golf cart batteries are the same as 8 x 6V batteries, and they should read 49.2–49.8 volts. If it reads 32V or less, the battery is probably dead.
Review Section/Top Golf Cart Battery Picks
To pick the right battery for your golf cart, you should choose among the best golf cart batteries. In this review section are some of the best batteries available considering their technical specifications, price, and overall performance.
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The Trojan T-105 is one of the best 6-volt golf cart batteries. This model has outstanding capacity, good amperage, and a robust quality casing. If your golf cart uses 48V, 36V, or 12V golf cart batteries, you can just plug several of these quality 6V batteries in series and power up your golf cart.
This battery has an installed capacity of 225 Ah, and it provides up to 11.25 amps for 20 hours (225 Ah at C20) or 37 amps for 5 hours (185 Ah at C5). The Trojan T-105 battery runs for 447 minutes (7.45 hours) for golf carts consuming 25 amps and 115 minutes (1.9 hours) for golf carts consuming 75 amps.
- Robust and resistant casing.
- Excellent C-rate.
- Superior capacity of 225 Ah.
- 18 months warranty, which is slightly better compared to other flooded lead-acid batteries.
- It can only be discharged to 50% of its capacity.
- Requires regular maintenance.
- It should only be installed and charged in ventilated compartments.
The Amstron GC2 is an excellent battery with a relatively low price when considering its technology and technical specifications. It has a great capacity, uses AGM technology, has an 80% maximum DOD, and operates with a convenient amperage for golf carts.
This battery has a 210 Ah capacity at C20, meaning you get 10.5 amps for 20 hours. You can use higher currents but at a reduced capacity. You can power 25-amp golf carts for 475 minutes and even 75-amp golf carts for 124 minutes, proving to be an excellent battery for golf carts.
- Great capacity for golf carts.
- You can ride for 475 minutes with one charge.
- It requires very low maintenance.
- You can use up to 80% of its capacity.
- It has a relatively low C-rate for the 210 Ah capacity. You can get more amps at a reduced capacity.
- Genuine ExpertPower Battery - The Most Trusted And Highest Reviewed Sealed Lead Acid Batteries On Amazon
- Battery Type - 12 Volt 33Amp/10 Hour Sealed Lead Acid Battery
- Quality Assurance - Crafted Wtih A Rugged Construction, Our SLA Batteries Are Ultra Durable And Utilize Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Technology Which Provides A Wide Temperature Range.
The ExpertPower EXP12330 is an excellent choice among the best cheap golf cart batteries and one of the best 12V golf cart batteries. It has a quality casing and a low price, and it comes with B2 terminals.
With a capacity of 33 Ah at C10, this battery provides up to 3.3 amps for 10 hours. The battery has a 100% maximum DOD that can run up to 260 cycles. However, it is recommended to use it at 50% DOD to increase the number of cycles to 500. When looking to replace 36 volt golf cart batteries, you can just plug three of these batteries in series and get that same voltage.
- It has a very low cost.
- The casing is resistant to shocks and vibrations.
- Expected life is 5 years.
- Only 1-year warranty.
- The capacity is relatively low compared to other batteries on the list.
- Voltage: 6 Volts
- Amp. Hrs. 20 Hr Rate: 220
- Minutes of Discharge @ 25 Amps - 492
The Lifeline GPL-4CT Marine AGM battery is a robust battery with a quality design and an excellent 5-year warranty. The battery has a great capacity and quality casing resistant to shocks and vibrations, and it includes an M8 threaded insert with copper alloys.
This battery has a 220 Ah capacity at C20, meaning you can get a steady current of 11 amps for up to 20 hours. Depending on your golf cart power consumption, you can ride for 856 minutes at 15 amps and up to 492 minutes at 25 amps.
- Backed with a 5-year warranty.
- Great capacity of 220 Ah.
- You can fully use 80% of the capacity.
- Robust casing resistant to shocks and vibrations.
- It has a relatively low max current best suitable for mid-consumption golf carts.
Now that you know some of the best 6V and 12V golf cart batteries, it is important to know how to pick the best option for you from the list. Here, we show you some important criteria that you should consider.
What Is the Proper Voltage for Your Battery?
The voltage you need is defined by the requirements of the golf cart motor. The user manual for the motor of your golf cart might state this. If your cart requires 8V golf cart batteries, there might not be any other way than just getting that battery type. Given the case that you need 48V, 36V, or 12V golf cart batteries, you can just connect quality 6V or 12V batteries and install them in series.
How Many Amp-Hours Does Your Cart Need?
If your motor states the power in Watts (W), you can multiply that power by the number of hours that you are expecting to use the golf cart on a single charge. This will give you a reference of the capacity needed in Wh. Then, you must divide this value by the voltage that the manufacturer states for the battery. This will give you the resulting capacity needed in Ah.
Once you find that out, you can compare with the available battery model’s capacity (Ah). Remember that DOD affects the number of cycles that the battery can last. Therefore, it is recommended to compare the Ah that you need with the 50% DOD capacity (Ah) of the batteries under consideration. Moreover, you also need to consider the C-rate at which the battery will be working to estimate the number of hours that the battery will be able to run. This will depend on the electrical current (A) demand of your motor.
It is important to know, however, that the motor demands different electrical currents at different speeds. Although the plate should state at which speed the motor is rated for the nominal power, it is recommended to oversize your needed battery capacity a bit (by 20% ideally) to account for these variations in speed and acceleration.
What Is the Best Battery Type (Technology) for You?
While the motor of your golf cart might require a certain voltage and amperage to properly function, choosing the battery technology is up to you.
- Lead-acid flooded batteries provide a medium capacity, but they usually have a maximum 50% DOD.
- Sealed lead-acid Gel and AGM batteries have similar capacities to flooded ones, but with the possibility to reach an 80% maximum DOD, you get more efficiency for a really good price.
- Lithium batteries have a higher capacity and DOD, but they have a much higher price.
Flooded batteries are usually the cheapest options, while the best ones considering specifications and cost are the sealed lead-acid AGM golf cart batteries.
How Much Do Golf Cart Batteries Cost?
Golf cart batteries have several price ranges depending on capacity, technology, and other specifications. Cheap golf cart batteries go as low as $50–$99, but they have very small capacities. Mid-end batteries range from $101 to $499, have higher capacities, and can ride for several miles. High-capacity batteries go for $500, but they provide the longest rides for this electric vehicle.
What Is the Warranty for a Golf Cart Battery?
The warranty of a golf cart battery usually depends on the technology. Lithium golf cart batteries have longer warranties, while AGM and Gel-sealed batteries can have up to 5-years warranties, and average flooded batteries usually have a 1-year warranty. As with any product, having a long-term warranty is a reference to quality and performance over time.
To extend the lifespan of your battery you should take proper care of it. You can do this by discharging the batteries to the recommended 50% DOD and charging them back up with a charger that allows the charging parameters set by the manufacturer.
What Size and Weight Should Your Battery Have?
Golf cart batteries usually have standard dimensions suitable for most golf carts. The weight does vary depending on capacity, technology, and design. Heavier batteries weighing 60 lbs or more tend to be more stable and provide smaller chances of falling out of the golf cart, making them much safer options.
With the proper golf cart battery, you can ride for hours and enjoy your favorite activities, be it golfing, riding around green areas at the country club, or anything else. This is why it is important to choose a battery with the proper voltage and a high capacity that will take you for longer distances.
In our review section, you will find some of the best golf cart batteries available. With the buying guide, you can easily choose the best one for you. It is important to take proper care of the battery by discharging it to the recommended DOD and using a charger that allows the parameters set by the manufacturer.
We also recommend you only store your battery fully charged. If you store it for long periods, it can self-discharge. Therefore, it is important to regularly check the charge levels to ensure it is in top shape for when you use it again to ride in your golf cart.