Gas vs. Electric Golf Cart (2023 Comparison)
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One of the most important considerations when choosing a new golf cart is deciding between a gas-powered golf and electric-powered golf cart. Thanks to recent technological advancements, electric golf carts have come a long way and offer a lot of power. But, who wins the gas vs electric golf cart battle in 2023 (and why)?
The main difference between gas and electric golf carts (aside from the obvious gas/electric powering mechanism) is that gas golf carts offer much more power than electric models. However, electric golf carts are more energy-efficient and they don’t require nearly as much maintenance as gas-powered golf carts. Electric golf carts also don’t need oil.
Throughout this article, I’ll break down the pros and cons of gas and electric golf carts to help you decide which one is best for you. Let’s dive right in!
Is It Better To Have a Gas or Electric Golf Cart?
Some people find it better to have an electric-powered golf cart because they’re not too loud. However, they come with a handful of drawbacks that you won’t find if you own a gas-powered model. Both fuel sources have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider all of them before buying either vehicle type.
In the sections below, I’ll compare the pros and cons of electric and gas golf carts:
Pros of Gas Golf Carts
- Gas-powered golf carts offer more power. This applies to most gas-powered vehicles. Currently, gas is the most effective way to cruise up and down hills, reach higher speeds, and more. While there are plenty of high-power electric golf carts, their power capacities won’t come close to the vast majority of gas models.
- Gas golf carts usually go much further. According to NF Golf Carts, gas offers a much longer driving range than electricity. This is because a gas fuel tank is almost always bigger than an electric battery, so it stores more energy in the long run. It’s a must-have if you want to use your golf cart for longer than 10 miles or so.
- Gas golf carts are usually more readily available. Gas golf carts have been around much longer than electric golf carts, which means there are more options to choose from (especially if you’re buying a used one). Furthermore, most people are familiar with gas-powered carts compared to electric carts.
Cons of Gas Golf Carts
- Gas golf carts tend to cost more. Since they offer more power and can drive a lot further, gas-powered carts are usually noticeably more expensive. This might be an issue if you’re shopping for a golf cart on a budget, but you could always choose a used one to reduce the cost a bit.
- Gas-powered golf carts need more maintenance than electric golf carts. They have many more fluids, moving parts, and other components that wear out. You’ll end up paying more for repairs and maintenance costs than you would if you had an electric cart. Additionally, fueling up is more expensive on a gas golf cart.
Pros of Electric Golf Carts
- Electric golf carts are much more energy-efficient. They don’t burn fossil fuels, nor do they require as much power to reach a full charge. Gas golf carts need 12V batteries and a fuel tank, while electric golf carts rely on 36V and 48V batteries to improve their power and drive time.
- Electric-powered golf carts don’t need oil, gasoline, or other liquids for lubrication. You won’t have to worry about heading to the gas station, changing the oil, or overheating the golf cart nearly as easily as if you had a gas golf cart. Additionally, you won’t have to pay as much when it’s time for annual maintenance and fluid changes.
- Electric golf carts are significantly quieter than gas-powered golf carts. Electric golf carts produce less noise, even if you’re going downhill or cruising at the highest speed. This is because they use batteries rather than combust fuel and oxygen. There aren’t any controlled explosions, so they’re very quiet.
Cons of Electric Golf Carts
- Most electric golf carts can’t be used on uneven, bumpy terrain. Driving uphill and downhill requires a lot of power, which most electric golf carts don’t have. Additionally, they tend to run hot because the battery has to work harder than it should. That said, this is one of the only ways electric golf carts can overheat.
- Electric golf carts don’t last nearly as long in terms of mileage. These golf carts rarely exceed 10 miles per charge, which could be an issue if you don’t want to charge it too often. The good news is that you can charge your golf cart overnight. You can also leave it plugged in at all times until you want to take it to the golf course.
Decision Time: Should You Get a Gas or Electric Golf Cart?
You should get a gas golf cart if you’re on a tight budget or if you want more power in your golf cart. It’s also an excellent option if you prefer quiet golf cart driving, or reduced maintenance costs.
Both options are worthwhile, but unfortunately, converting one to the other is nearly impossible.
Consider these questions to determine if you should go with a battery-powered golf cart or a gas-powered golf cart:
- Are you worried about your carbon footprint or emissions? Electric golf carts are zero-emissions vehicles, which means they don’t increase your carbon production. This is excellent for eco-conscious golfers, and those who don’t want to support fuel burning, loud combustion processes, etc.
- Do you go to hilly golf courses with long fairways? If so, you should consider getting a gas-powered golf cart. They’re much more suited for a hilly terrain because they have the power to do so. While some electric golf carts can usually make the trip, it’ll be much harder on the motor.
- Do you have a car charger or a dedicated wall outlet in your garage? You’ll need one or both of these to recharge the golf cart’s battery. Check the charger’s energy demands, and then compare them with your circuit breaker. Make sure your breaker can supply the proper amperage and voltage.
- Are you familiar with car parts and other vehicle components? If so, you’ll have no problem handling and repairing a gas golf cart. However, if you don’t know much about mechanical work, you’ll likely be better off with an electric golf cart. They don’t need as many repairs, nor do they have as many parts to work on.
- What’s your golf cart budget? Electric golf carts cost close to the same as used gas-powered golf carts. If you’re looking for a new cart, your budget might be better suited for an electric model. Thankfully, electric golf carts have come a long way in terms of power, reliability, and longevity.
Note: Gas-powered golf carts still use electricity to start the engine via a 12V battery. However, electric golf carts only use electricity, reducing their fuel reliance. This makes them much easier to deal with for most golfers.
Final Thoughts: Electric vs. Gas Golf Carts in 2023
While gas-powered golf carts offer more power than electric golf carts, they cost a lot more money in the long run despite their lower initial investment.
On the other hand, electric golf carts require less maintenance and are ideal for eco-conscious golfers.
It’s up to you to weigh the decision between power versus energy efficiency.