31 May Powering Your Golf Cart – Lithium or Lead Cell Batteries?
Golf carts were originally designed as gas-powered vehicles before the advent of electric carts in the 1950s. Early battery-powered carts were designed for using traditional, lead acid batteries as the power source, sometimes called wet cell batteries.
While there are still many gas carts – used for golf and also as utility and commercial vehicles – the advances of the technologically advanced lithium ion battery are taking the cart industry by storm.
At Coastal Carts, we offer carts powered by gas or batteries, so let’s take a closer look at the different types of batteries we offer.
Traditional Lead Acid or Lithium Ion Batteries
Just like the battery that starts your car, a lead acid battery is a wet cell battery that requires regular maintenance and care to ensure its effectiveness and longevity. Without the proper amount of water, the plates within the battery will not take or hold an effective charge. While this type of cart power was considered innovative when first introduced to compete with gas powered carts, today they represent some concerns that may warrant switching to a lithium ion model.
Wet cell batteries are also considerably heavier than a lithium battery pack, adding significant weight to your vehicle. This can affect its overall performance and handling. Lead acid batteries can weigh around 100 pounds each, and when your cart is carrying six batteries that can add a lot of unnecessary weight. Lithium batteries are around fifty to sixty percent lighter.
When it comes to charging, wet cell batteries can take up to eight hours to accept a complete charge, while a lithium battery can reach an eighty percent charge in as little as one hour and become fully charged in about three hours. Using your wet cell battery cart when it is not fully charged can mean sulfate damage which can shorten its lifespan.
Lithium batteries are more costly as an initial investment, but they provide a much longer life of use and efficiency. You can charge a wet cell battery around five hundred to one thousand times before it won’t hold a charge, but a lithium battery can be charged up to nearly five thousand cycles over its lifetime.
You’ll also get a much longer battery life with lithium, as much as three times more than that of lead acid batteries. Plus, lithium batteries require no maintenance like adding water and cleaning the posts and cables. Lithium-powered carts, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, (NEVs), and Low Speed Vehicles, (LSVs), are lighter than those with traditional batteries and offer more voltage, so the torque and acceleration is greatly improved.
Depending on your specific needs, budget and how you plan to use your cart, Coastal Carts is ready to help you determine the ideal power source for your ride.