How To Make Golf Cart Batteries Last Longer
The current cost of living crisis shouldn't mean we can't enjoy our hobbies to the fullest. While golf can be a notoriously expensive sport, there are lots of ways that we can invest in cheaper equipment and look after the equipment we already have to give it a longer life span.
The best electric golf carts can be one of the most expensive single investments golfers make on product. Indeed, a lot of that investment is because of the rise in use of lithium batteries. However, electric golf carts have a huge advantage over even the best push carts in that they are easier to navigate on the golf course and have added features like GPS navigation built in.
If you already have an electric golf cart - or are looking to invest in one soon - maintaining the lifespan of the battery is one sure fire way to make sure you get the most for your money over a five or even ten year lifespan of a cart. We're going to take a look at the different types of batteries you can get in electric golf carts as well as look at some helpful tips that you can put into practice to keep your battery as healthy as possible.
Lithium or lead-acid batteries?
It's worth mentioning that pretty much all electric golf carts are now using lithium batteries rather than lead-acid batteries. While lithium batteries have contributed to a higher price of golf cart at the point of purchase, they make the electric cart greener and less costly to run over a full lifespan.
The advantages of a lithium battery over lead-acid are fairly extensive. They charge quicker, are more compact, lighter and more reliable than a comparable lead-acid battery. The fact they charge quicker means you'll use significantly less electricity when charging a lithium battery, news that will be welcome to all considering the global spike in energy prices.
Lithium batteries also last significantly longer than lead-acid. While the lifespan of a lead acid battery is around one year, the lifespan of lithium batteries is often at least five years. Lead-acid batteries are much more vulnerable to quick deterioration in changing temperatures, especially during the winter. Lithium batteries do not suffer in changeable temperatures and have been built to last.
Most manufacturers that equip electric golf carts with lithium batteries offer significant warranties too, with some offering a five year guarantee on their lithium batteries. In truth, you'll struggle to find many new electric golf carts with lead-acid batteries anymore, such is the dominance in performance and lifespan on the lithium batteries. While an electric golf cart with a lithium battery will likely cost you more upfront, the cost of running them and the lifespan mean they represent much better value for money.
How to maintain good battery health
So, presuming you are in ownership of a lithium battery on your electric golf cart, let's take a look and some easy and effective ways to prolong the life of your battery. We spoke to both PowaKaddy and Motocaddy - two of the major players in the electric golf cart industry - to see how they recommend prolonging the life of your battery with rules that can be applied to any brand of battery.
One of the main things to remember is to avoid fully discharging the battery on purpose. It's a common misconception that batteries last longer if you run them down and full recharge them, so avoid doing this with your cart battery. The best practice is to charge the battery back to full as soon as you are done using it. Batteries don't lose charge if they are turned off and fully charged, but a partially discharged battery will continue to lose power.
Also, avoid leaving your battery on charge all the time. Motocaddy's lithium batteries and charger are designed to switch off once it is fully charged and it is highly recommended by all brands to not leave lithium batteries charging overnight. If you're not playing golf or using your golf cart for a few weeks, it's also a good idea to charge the battery to full, switch it off, unplug it and leave it while you're not using it. Don't leave the battery uncharged for weeks or months at a time though, as this runs the risk of lowering the battery's potential maximum capacity.
Good battery charging practice will not only allow the battery and cart to last much longer, but you'll also get maximum performance out of it for longer too.
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Dan is a Staff Writer and has been with the Golf Monthly team since 2021. Dan graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and primarily looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes since he joined Golf Monthly and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 7.8 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands.
Dan is currently playing:
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2
Hybrid: Ping G425
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro
Putter: Wilson Staff Infinite Buckingham
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x Pix
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