Purchasing golf cart batteries can be a complex and costly process without the correct information to hand. There are batteries from numerous brands that contain varying voltages, ampere-hours, and lifespans. The most common golf cart battery you will find is deep-cycles, designed to help your golf cart run consistently for longer.
Based on the magnitude of these battery options. Many owners ask, are golf cart batteries deep cycle? In this post, we will answer that and look further into the types of batteries and their functions.
Are Golf Cart Batteries Deep Cycle?
While there are numerous deep-cycle battery options for golf cart owners, these batteries are designed for use in electric golf carts.
Types Of Batteries
According to Tim Baler from Golf Cart Resource, there are two core golf cart batteries; deep-cycle, and starter or automotive batteries. Deep-cycle batteries are built for electric vehicles, whereas the starter batteries are for gas golf carts.
If you use a deep-cycle battery in a gas cart, you would damage the battery and impact its performance and life span. Similarly, inserting a starter battery into an electric golf cart would drain the battery rapidly.
The design of a starter battery intends to deliver a large surge of power at one time to get your engine started. The energy efficiency on gas golf carts is around 30% which is far lower than electric carts.
Deep-cycle batteries are designed to deliver slower outputs of power for longer, enabling you to get 18 holes in on one charge.
Types of Deep Cycle Batteries
There are four variants of deep-cycle batteries on the market. Each requires different levels of maintenance and varies in price and performance.
The four deep-cycle battery types are Flooded Lead Acid, AGM, Gel Lead, and Lithium-Ion golf cart batteries.
Flooded Lead Acid Battery
The flooded lead-acid batteries are the most common type of deep-cycle battery on the market. These are the batteries that Trojan first pioneered in 1952 and still have a reputation as the longest-lasting golf cart battery.
These units require consistent maintenance and watering. Otherwise, they will damage, and you will not enjoy the 7 – 9 years of expected battery life that some of these units deliver.
These products only consume distilled water, and their levels can never reach a critically high or low level. In both circumstances, it will cause acid to leak and the electrolytes to damage. It, therefore, impacts the longevity and short-term performance of the battery.
AGM Deep Cycle Batteries
The AGM batteries are a popular alternative to flood deep-cycle units, as they are built to require no maintenance or watering. These batteries save you money on maintenance costs, as well as time.
The downside of AGM deep-cycle batteries is that they do not offer the power you receive from the flooded equivalent. And, while they will last for 6-8 years, on average, their lifespan is shorter than a deep-cycle flooded unit from Trojan.
According to Australian-based Energy Matters, the internal resistance of these batteries is diminished. It enables them to endure intense temperatures and discharge at a slower rate than other deep-cycle battery designs.
Gel Lead Deep-Cycle Batteries
Gel lead golf cart batteries are concocted by taking silica and adding it to the electrolytes. This process thickens the electrolytes and reduces the risk of acid leakage. As a result, it can be installed in any direction, unlike the flooded batteries that need to remain upright to prevent leaks.
The gel structure of the battery equips it with absorbable qualities to withstand vibration damage. This composition optimizes the lifespan of the battery. Furthermore, because gel batteries do not require water, it relieves you of constant maintenance.
To be on the safe side, it is still wise to inspect your batteries frequently to ensure they have no heat damage and are running as required.
Lithium-Ion Deep-Cycle Battery
The majority of everyday electronics that you own likely have a lithium-ion battery. This design enables a faster charge and is delivers ten times the charge cycles of a deep-cycle flooded battery. As a result, they tend to enjoy a longer lifespan.
Where other deep-cycle batteries may take 8 hours to charge, lithium-ion units achieve this in 3-hours.
Lithium-ion batteries are also lighter and therefore reduce the load your golf cart needs to carry. That means that your cart does not need to exert the level of energy it needs with other deep-cycle batteries. The reduced weight further helps you achieve accelerated speeds.
The main downside of this type of battery is the cost. They are considerably more than a flooded or AGM battery, which is offputting to many golf cart owners. That said, their performance, charge cycles, and lifespan may be worth the investment if these are in your budget.
After looking at the question of are golf cart batteries deep cycle. It is clear that not all golf cart batteries fit into this category. Golf cart batteries come in deep-cycle and starter options. Although, electric golf carts can only run on deep cycle batteries.
Out of the four types of deep-cycle batteries, the AGM deep cycles offer the best value for money. They require minimal maintenance, no watering, and enjoy a considerable lifespan. These products are far more affordable than lithium-ion, and to a lesser extent, deep-cycle flooded batteries.
If you are looking for new batteries for your electric golf cart, I recommend looking at the Crown deep-cycle AGM batteries.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.