You’ve decided to buy a golf cart, for golfing or transportation or both, but now what? Which should you buy? You can choose from gas-powered or electric models. But is one better than the other? Here’s a look at why EVs are the way to go for golf carts.
Gas-powered golf carts
A gas golf cart packs a four-stroke (or sometimes a two-stroke) combustion engine, RMI explains. These golf carts run in a way similar to a gas-powered passenger car and use unleaded gas. You can fill them quickly at a gas station or from a gas can.
A used gas-powered golf cart generally costs more than an electric one. In addition, there aren’t usually many used gas-powered golf carts available for sale. Gas-powered models are also a bit noisy compared with electric golf carts. However, newer ones are quieter than older ones.
Maintenance is similar to what a car needs. These golf carts need oil changes and mechanical repairs. Factor in the cost of buying gas, too. And fuel gauge alerts you when it needs a refill.
Electric golf carts
Electric golf carts are more common than gas-powered ones. They use 36-volt or 48-volt battery cells. You must charge them frequently to keep them powered.
A used electric golf cart is often less expensive than a gas-powered one. If you decide to buy a used model, check whether it has the old battery cells or whether the previous owner replaced them with new ones. Also, find out how long a battery charge will last. Most will make it through 36 holes of golf. Electric golf carts also accelerate almost instantly and produce little sound.
However, you need to recharge an EV each time you use it or every few weeks if not used regularly. These golf carts don’t always include a battery charge gauge, but you can add one. If the battery charge goes down too far, the golf cart’s speed will slow. But charging an electric golf cart is less expensive than buying gas. Check the water level in the batteries monthly, and replace the batteries about every four or five years.
Why electric golf carts are the better choice
In addition to their lower price and quieter sound, electric golf carts are the better choice for environmental reasons. Because gas-powered golf carts burn fuel, they also produce carbon monoxide emissions. Though newer models emit less of a gas smell than older ones, they can still be smelly when turned on in a garage. Electric golf carts produce zero emissions. Their rechargeable batteries offer a more eco-conscious choice, too.
In addition, depending upon where you live, you can drive electric golf carts on the road if the speed limit is less than 30 or 35 mph. Remember that taking a golf cart on the road means it will need a windshield, headlights, taillights, turn signals, seat belts, and a license plate. Though less environmentally friendly, a gas-powered golf cart can drive at higher speeds and pull more weight. These abilities might make it more suitable for driving on the road or for a custom-built golf cart.
Other factors to consider when buying one
After deciding between gas-powered and electric, consider what other features fit your needs. You might also want to choose between new and used or consider vintage or custom, Golf Cart Resource suggests.
Check how many passengers will fit into the golf cart and how much storage is available. Take a look too at the design to make sure it fits your style. Other features can include air conditioning, a custom steering wheel, custom seats, an enclosure, radio or sound system, custom paint or tires, or lift kits. There might also be accessories to wash golf balls or keep drinks cool.
Though electric golf carts are considered the better choice, you’ll find plenty of options to meet your needs.