Buying a golf cart is a significant investment, and it involves making a number of decisions when it comes to choosing an electric or a gas golf cart. As with any major purchase, the advantages and disadvantages must be carefully reviewed.
Tremendous technological advancements have occurred in the golf cart industry in recent years. Most of the changes have been in the electric car field. Pressures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have caused manufacturers to seek out new ways to increase the operation and performance of Electric Golf Carts.
The Pros of a Gas Golf Cart
A gas powered golf cart has much greater power and pickup so can it handle challenging rough and hilly landscapes. It is not dependent upon electricity, so you can utilize your cart in more isolated and remote areas without access to electricity.
For those individuals that live a golf cart’s ride away from a gas station, gas golf carts are a convenient option. Another thing to consider is that if you plan on installing a lot of features, such as lighting, fans, stereos, heaters, etc., it will take a considerable amount of power that only gas powered golf carts can spare.
When you are using an electric golf cart, the energy comes from the same batteries that your motor relies on. While gas powered golf carts rely on battery power for their functions, they use a starter/generator that will charge the battery on its own when the gas pedal is depressed.
Gas Golf Cart Cons
The biggest disadvantages of a gas golf cart are, of course, the fumes and pollution generated. Not only are you hurting the environment, in many states, such as California, they are banned due to their association with air pollution. Also, they are substantially noisier machines. Installing a good muffler will help to reduce the noise. Golf carts are intended for use on the “peace and quiet” of the golf course.
Plus, they require significant maintenance to keep running smoothly. Your golf cart will need frequent oil changes, adjustments, and repairs to keep the filters and pumps working in the long term. In addition, the components related to the oil and gasoline features can drip and leak over surfaces whenever the car is parked. The fact that they run on gasoline makes their price per mile around three to four times that of electric powered golf carts.
Electric Golf Cart Pros
The advantages of using an electric golf cart far outweigh the benefits of using a gas powered golf cart. Electronic golf carts are much cheaper in the long term and are three times more fuel efficient when compared to gas golf carts. There are no exhaust fumes for you to breathe in while driving.
There is also the convenience factor of simply plugging your golf cart into an outlet. Thanks to the electric motor, you do not have to worry about a noisy engine.
Recent Technological Innovations with Electric Golf Carts
While these general advantages and disadvantages of gas and electric golf carts hold true in older models, recent innovations in electric carts have altered this dynamic. With the efficient motors found in recent models of electric golf carts, you can now play through at least two rounds of golf with a single charge.
Keep in mind that a number of factors affect the lifespan of your battery, from the charger to the quality of your battery. Batteries only have so many charging cycles before they need replacing.
Most recently, electric golf carts have outperformed gas golf carts in start-up acceleration, downhill slowing, and reaching higher speeds. Not only that, golf cart battery manufacturers have made significant advancements in improving the lifespans of Lead-Acid batteries.
What to Use for Utility Golf Carts
Even with the recent shift to more efficient electric golf carts, for the most part gas powered golf carts are preferable for golf carts that serve utility purposes. For example, if you have to do chores across a wide stretch of area, gas powered carts do not need to be recharged, so your work is uninterrupted.
Electric carts are unsuitable for start and go utility or for farm work. Starting up and turning off the engine frequently can drain the battery. It also takes a significant amount of battery power to haul large loads.
Electric Golf Cart Cons
One of the biggest complaints that users of electric golf carts have is that they are incapable of going up more challenging terrain, such as up hills and over bumps on the road. Many of the older models of electric golf carts have nowhere near the power needed for handling distances that exceed 30 to 40 miles.
For those individuals who frequently drive over large areas and distances, gas powered golf carts are preferable. Especially if you do not have access to an electrical outlet, finding a way to continually charge an electric cart will be a major hassle. Electric golf carts simply are not an acceptable option for remote areas.
Both gas and electric powered golf carts require light maintenance. The biggest concern among electric cart owners is making sure the battery water levels are at an ideal level. Batteries are the lifeblood of an electric car and, with replacement sets being expensive, it is not something you want to neglect. With proper care, electric batteries should last between five and six years before they need replacing. Without maintenance, electric batteries have a much shorter lifespan of two years.
On the other hand, gas golf carts need frequent oil changes in addition to the replacement of air/fuel filters and spark plugs when necessary. Conducting routine gas golf cart maintenance is not difficult.
Considering the recent technological advancements that occurred with electric golf carts, they are quickly becoming the preferred choice among cart enthusiasts. Understand in what conditions and for how long you plan on using your cart to properly make a purchase decision. If you need a cart that can handle a full day’s work with heavy loads, it may make sense to get a gas powered car for added power.