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As technology is evolving, new and latest types of batteries are being used in cars, Golf carts, and many other machines. If you also have a golf cart and are thinking of replacing the battery with a more efficient and powerful one, this guide can surely help you.
The golf cart batteries are similar to a Car’s battery. But its maintenance and everything else is very different from a car’s battery. If you want to buy a new battery or a golf cart, you need to know the types of batteries used to make a perfect choice.
Let me take you through this complete guide of Golf cart batteries to ensure that you go with the best set of batteries available in the market.
Types of Golf Cart Batteries
There are 2 types of batteries used in Golf carts. We discuss both of them one by one.
1. Lead-Acid Battery
Lead-acid batteries are commonly used in Golf carts. But they are further divided into two types, but the most common of them is the Flooded lead-acid battery that you will find inside your golf cart.
● Flooded Lead-acid Battery
The flooded lead-acid battery contains fluid, also known as the electrolyte. This electrolyte reacts with the plates around it to store the charge inside. They require maintenance as the liquid needs to be filled regularly.
The one thing that’s negative about the flooded batteries is that they released toxic hydrogen gas while charging, which can be harmful to the environment. So you shouldn’t keep them in a closed room as they can accumulate and cause damage.
If you take care of the battery, it can last for the longest. It is most commonly used inside golf carts due to the durability and longer life span.
● AMG Lead-acid Battery
The AMG battery is a type of Sealed lead-acid battery that contains the electrolyte trapped inside a fiberglass mat. The cells are sealed from every corner, due to which you can place them in any orientation. And due to the fiberglass mat, they are also resistant to vibrations.
These batteries are commonly used in vehicles due to their nature. This battery is more expensive than a flooded one, but it doesn’t work for as long as a flooded battery can. One thing that you will be saved from will be the maintenance as you cannot open it. It will complete its cycle and then die out.
● Gel Lead-acid Battery
The Gel battery is also a Sealed type of Lead-acid battery. These are pretty similar to the AMG, but the only difference is that it uses a thick paste around the electrolyte in place of the fiberglass mat. The Gel Lead-acid batteries are the most expensive of the three.
These batteries have a lower charge rate as compared to an AMG battery. These work efficiently in hotter climates and are widely used in solar panel systems. You should be extra careful while handling a Gel battery.
2. Lithium-ion Battery
The Lithium-ion battery is a kind of rechargeable battery that is being used in many devices nowadays. Mobile phones particularly have a Li-ion battery installed. You can find these batteries in many portable devices, such as the golf cart.
These batteries have Lithium ions inside them that move from the negative to the positive electrode while discharging and the other way around when you are charging it. Lithium-ion batteries are more efficient and powerful than different types of batteries but are also expensive. You can see the difference I have done below between the two types of batteries.
The life span of a Lithium-ion battery is typically higher than a lead-acid battery. The life span is counted by counting the number of cycles a battery can complete throughout its life. Another advantage of the Lithium battery you might know about is that it doesn’t require any maintenance that subsequently saves up a lot of your time.
Different Battery Systems
The battery inside our golf cart may come in a pair. You can have two batteries of 12-Volt or any other combination. The battery system is usually divided into three portions, and every golf cart has at least one of these.
1. 6-Volt Battery
When you see a 6-Volt battery, you might see three lids on top of it. Each of these lids identifies one cell. If there are three caps, it means there are three cells with a voltage of 2-Volt each. They have higher amperage as compared to an 8-volt system.
2. 8-Volt Battery
You can also similarly identify the 8-Volt battery system. You may see four lids inside of four on this one. Each of the tops has a 2-Volt battery cell underneath. This 8-volt system has a lower amperage than a 6-volt.
3. 12-Volt Battery
Yes, you have guessed this one right. The 12-Volt battery will have six caps with six cells with a voltage of 2 each. It has the least amperage capacity than all others and is usually used in a 72-volt golf cart. These are very rare but can be found in some golf carts.
Lead-Acid vs. Lithium-ion Battery
Now that you are aware of the type of batteries and their system. You might be confused about which one to buy. For your ease, I will give some brief differences between the two so you can choose wisely.
Lithium-ion batteries are the latest and the most efficient ones in the market right now. These batteries are equally expensive, but they require no maintenance. In contrast, Lead-acid batteries are inexpensive but require regular maintenance that might cross the Lithium ones’ cost barrier.
The major problem with lead batteries is that if you fail to maintain them and get dry or if anything else happens while maintenance, the battery’s efficiency will drastically decrease.
If you are smart enough, you will spend your money on Lithium batteries as they are more durable. These batteries save up many of your hours that you would have to spend maintaining the lead batteries.
2. Carrying Capacity
The carrying capacity of the Lithium batteries is way more than the lead ones. They have a small weight to performance ratio due to which they carry twice the people. The Lithium-ion battery has a low weight that can also allow your cart to run faster.
The lead battery doesn’t have a continuous voltage output throughout. These batteries lose their efficiency after they cross the discharge barrier of 75%. But in contrast, the Lithium battery provides continuous voltage output, due to which these batteries work until they are completely discharged.
3. Charging time
If we compare the charging time of both the battery types, you will see a significant difference. The lead battery takes up to 6 to 8 hours to be fully charged and used, but you can charge the Lithium battery entirely in 3 to 4 hours. You can quickly charge 80% of the Lithium battery in an hour, so you won’t have to wait a long time to get back into the game.
One more flaw is that a lead-acid battery needs to be fully charged at once to work at its maximum. If you try to charge it in portions, its efficiency will significantly decrease. But this flaw is not available in the Lithium battery, so you can quickly charge them for a while when you are having a break.
4. Battery Life
The battery cycle life of Lithium-ion batteries is comparatively a bit higher than the lead ones. The Lithium-ion battery has a cycle life of around 2000 – 5000 cycles. But the lead-acid battery can only survive for 500 to 1000 cycles. So an investment in the Lithium-ion battery can be worthwhile.
Lithium-ion batteries are more eco-friendly than you might have guessed, as they are winning in every field. They take up less energy and are not harmful to the environment. But lead-acid batteries have lead inside them that can be very harmful to the environment.
Average Life and Cost of Golf Cart Battery
A Golf cart battery lifespan maybe six years if it is kept with cared and has received regular maintenance. If you are using the best charger to provide it with an appropriate amount of current to charge and take every small step, they might last longer.
These batteries have different prices according to brands and types. A flooded Lead-acid battery may cost you around 1300$, but if you want to go for a Lithium-ion battery, you need to spend a little more than 2000$. The choice is yours as we have already discussed how one is better than the other.
Now that you know what types of battery a golf cart uses, you can choose the one that best suits your requirements. You can either go for a Lithium-ion battery or a lead-acid battery. Whichever battery you choose, make sure that it is compatible with your Golf cart.