It is important to know what voltage your golf cart is to understand its speed and power potential. To determine whether your golf cart is 36V or 48V, follow these steps:
- Lift up the seat to view the battery compartment.
- Count the number of holes on each battery. You may need to remove the battery cap to see the holes.
- Multiply the number of holes by 2 to determine the golf cart battery voltage.
- Multiply the golf cart battery voltage by the total number of batteries.
Example: In my Club Car Precedent golf cart, each battery has 4 holes. 4x2=8 so they are 8 Volt batteries. There are 6 of them, so my cart is a 48 Volt cart.
What is Voltage?
Before we jump into the pros and cons of different golf cart voltages, let's go back to science class and talk about what voltage really is. Technically speaking, voltage is the potential difference in charge between two points in an electrical field. The greater the voltage is, the greater the current.
As an aside, maintaining your batteries is extremely important for the current to flow at the proper voltage.
36 Voltage Golf Cart
A typical 36 Volt golf cart will have a battery configuration of (6) 6 volt batteries.
- They are more affordable to purchase.
- Replacing the batteries is more affordable, since there are only (6) 6 volt batteries.
- Stock motors and controllers are typically more affordable to replace.
- They are perfect for cruising around a flat surfaced neighborhood or golf course at 10-12 mph.
- They can be upgraded for speed, if needed.
- They produce less power than 48 Volt systems.
- They are less efficient and therefore, yield fewer hours on a charge.
- It is not recommended that a 36V golf cart be used off-road, since it has less power.
48 Voltage Golf Cart
Golf carts that are powered by 48 Volts consist of either (6) 8 Volt batteries or, in the case of some Club Car Precedent golf carts, (4) 12 Volt batteries.
- They are easily converted into hunting buggies or off-road carts.
- They use 1/3 less amperage than 36 Volt carts, so they are more efficient.
- Parts, especially upgrades, are more readily available for 48 Volt systems.
- Golf carts with 48 Volt systems have higher resale values.
- Batteries are more expensive to replace.
- If the system uses 12 Volt batteries, run time will be less due to a lower battery lead volume.
- Replacement motors and controllers are typically more expensive.
- 48 Volt cart are more expensive to purchase.
Whether you decide to go with a 36 Volt or a 48 Volt, the important thing is that you understand the difference so that you have realistic expectations of your golf cart.