You might be familiar with golf carts puttering around the course, but these slow-moving vehicles have potential. Like eBikes, golf carts carry a gas or electric motor. Some models are even street-legal, requiring license plates, headlights, and other features.
But if yours isn’t speedy enough for your taste, it’s not hard to give it a boost. Most golf carts can reach 15 mph, but some can easily travel over 20 mph with the right equipment. Here’s how you can make yours faster.
Ways to speed up your golf cart
If your golf cart is struggling to maintain speed, it probably needs a more powerful motor. One with a bigger field coil will produce more torque and allow your cart to carry more gear for your game. If you want to increase your cart’s speed, you’ll need a motor with a smaller field coil.
Golf Cart Garage also cautions that increasing your golf cart’s speed might lead to loss of torque and vice versa. Switching the cart’s battery for a higher-voltage one can improve both speed and capability. But if you don’t want to drop a lot of cash on these, you can try other methods.
Even a new motor won’t operate at full capacity if you don’t upgrade certain components. Those parts include the electronic speed controller and solenoid contactor relay. The speed controller’s function is self-explanatory, while the solenoid relay regulates heavy electrical currents in the motor.
However, sometimes the solution to a slow golf cart is as simple as replacing the tires. According to Golf Cart Garage, larger tires can add as much as 4 mph to the top speed. Carrying less gear and passengers can also make it go faster. And mud or rocky debris buildup on your cart’s underside could also negatively affect its speed.
Gas vs. electric
If you want a faster cart from the get-go, electric models are usually quicker than gas. The NF Golf Carts reports that electric golf carts can reach up to 30 mph with upgrades. Even a standard electric cart might have a top speed of 24 mph.
Like EVs, electric golf carts are incredibly quiet while in operation, with no vibrations or exhaust noises. The batteries in electric carts also last longer than the ones in gas models. However, an electric cart’s range is typically only 30 to 40 miles per full charge.
On the other hand, a gas-powered model can drive up to 120 miles on a full tank. Though gas golf cars typically don’t have as much torque as electric models, they’re better for lugging lots of equipment.
However, gas-powered golf cars are also noisy, and the engine can run hot if it’s pushed too hard. Gas models are generally more expensive to maintain and cost more at purchase than their electric counterparts.
Technically, you can drive any low-speed vehicle between 20 and 25 mph on public roads. However, without headlights, mirrors, and other safety features, your illegal cart might get you a traffic ticket. Golf Cart Resource recommends Club Car models, most of which can reach 20 mph or more.
With a reputation for reliable and eco-friendly vehicles, Yamaha is another good manufacturer. Its UMAX Rally can go off-road and even tow up to 1,500 pounds.
And E-Z-Go makes some of the fastest electric models. The ECO Drive 2+2 can reach 25 mph.