Golf carts are a convenient way to get around the golf course. If you’re thinking of investing in a golf cart (we recommend these top golf carts), you might wonder how many batteries it takes to power one. So, how many batteries are in a golf cart?
There are 3 to 8 batteries in a typical golf cart. The overall voltage of the golf cart determines how much it needs. Golf cart batteries come in various types and power configurations and have varying lifespans.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss why golf carts need so many batteries, the differences in performance, and the different types of batteries. I’ll also explain how to maximize their lifespan for as long as possible. Let’s get started!
Why Do Golf Carts Have So Many Batteries?
It’s important to note this article references electric-powered golf carts. Gas-powered carts only use one battery to start up the vehicle.
Golf carts need many batteries because they need a certain amount of power to start the engine and propel the vehicle. Voltage determines the cart’s overall power, and a typical golf cart comes equipped with 36, 48, or 72-voltage batteries.
How many batteries your golf cart needs depends on each battery’s voltage, the total voltage requirement of the golf cart, and the specific batteries for golf cart that are being used.
For instance, if you have a 36-volt golf cart, you could use one 36-volt battery, or six 6-volt batteries. You are clear as long as each battery adds up to your total voltage.
If you’re looking to replace one or more of your current golf cart batteries, it’s imperative not to upgrade or downgrade your cart’s current system. You would, therefore, need to replace the old batteries with ones of the same voltage. This makes things simple because your golf cart’s
battery charger is designed to charge the same type of battery. The last thing you want is to destroy your golf cart after investing in new upgrades.
The battery pack is usually located under your golf cart’s seat. You can identify the voltage of your cart’s deep cycle battery by the number of cells on the battery. Each cell represents 2 volts of power. 6V will have 3 cell caps, 8V will have 4 and 12V uses 6.
Voltage vs. Amperage
The most significant factors in terms of determining a battery’s performance are the amounts of voltage and amperage. Voltage determines the power of the golf cart, and the higher the voltage, the more efficiently the golf cart’s engine can use the batteries’ power. This is essential for increasing both speed and acceleration.
The voltage of the battery can also influence its charging speed.
While voltage deals with power, amperage determines your golf cart’s efficiency. The higher your vehicle’s amperage, the more distance you can cover in a single charge.
6-volt deep cycle golf cart batteries typically have higher amperages than a 12-volt battery. If you’re looking for a longer and more relaxed ride, opting for a 6-volt battery pack is an excellent idea.
On the other hand, if you want your golf cart to have a sporty and more responsive performance, choose one that uses 2-volt batteries.
Types of Batteries
Typically, a golf cart’s battery pack can be split into four categories:
- Flooded lead acid (wet)
- AGM lead acid
- Gel lead acid
Each type of battery comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. This includes:
- Spill protection
- Maintenance requirements
- Charging and usability levels
I’ll compare each battery type in more detail below:
1. Flooded Lead Acid Batteries
Flooded lead types are the oldest and most common battery types. It’s not spillproof like the other types on this list and requires some of the most maintenance (watering, cleaning, etc.).
These batteries typically have around a 50% usable capacity. This refers to how much driving can be done before a charge. They have an 80% charging efficiency with resistance to overcharging.
Flooded lead batteries are also typically the most cost-effective golf cart batteries.
2. AGM Lead Acid Batteries
AGM lead batteries are named after the fiberglass mats that sit between the lead plates. These mats limit movement and spilling, and the extra stability helps bolster the battery’s resistance to cold temperatures, vibrations, and shock.
AGM batteries are maintenance-free and have a solid 95% charging efficiency.
While they’re known for their fast charging ability, they’re prone to overcharging, which can hurt the battery’s lifespan.
3. Gel Lead Acid Batteries
Gel lead acid batteries are the most similar to the AGM batteries. Being both spillproof and maintenance-free, their most significant advantage is their resilience to higher temperatures. Gel batteries have about 85% charging efficiency but are highly vulnerable to overcharging and fast charging.
Buying a special regulator and charger is recommended, as overcharging can permanently destroy your battery. Gel lead acid batteries tend to be more expensive than their AGM counterparts.
4. Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are the newest golf cart battery types and, as such, come with some unique advantages. These batteries are also maintenance-free and spillproof while boasting a rapid recharge speed. They can reach up to a 100% usable capability while maintaining constant voltage. This means that your golf cart won’t lose functionality until it’s entirely out of power.
Lithium-ion batteries are also the most lightweight batteries on this list, and they last a lot longer than the other lead-based battery types. Although they offer the most benefits for golf carts, lithium-ion batteries are the most expensive type of deep-cell battery.
Maintaining Your Golf Cart Batteries
No matter what type of golf cart battery you choose, simply knowing a few maintenance tips can go a long way toward keeping your cart’s battery in peak condition.
Let’s look at the best ways to maintain your golf cart batteries
Even if you’re not using a golf cart, it’s important to get into the habit of charging the batteries. Not charging it correctly can lead to sulfation (a build-up of sulfate), decreasing your battery’s lifespan.
It’s also essential not to wait until your battery is empty to charge it, and you should think about charging it when it’s around 50% capacity. It’s also best practice to slow charge your batteries to avoid overclocking and damage.
Taking time to rest your battery after extended periods of use is also recommended.
Cleaning and Watering
Over time, deep-cycle batteries are known to build up acid, dust, or corrosion, and cleaning your battery and terminals avoids any unnecessary electrical drain. Deep cycle batteries also require water to function correctly, and you should keep an eye out for these levels and act accordingly.
It’s also important to note that you should use distilled water only, as tap water can be filled with minerals that can add to sulfation.
Conclusion: Number of Batteries in a Golf Cart
The average golf cart deep cell battery pack can hold anywhere from 3 to 8 batteries. The battery voltage you need depends on your golf cart’s voltage requirement.
Understanding how voltage and amperage affect your battery’s performance, the pros and cons of different battery types, and learning essential habits to maintain longevity will ensure you find the right golf cart to match your needs.
Whether you’re interested in long relaxing scenic tours or fast-paced, responsive handling, sitting down and learning some deep cell battery basics is the first step to a responsible purchase.