My experience of looking for a golf cart was nothing but a challenge. While I took advice from many self-proclaimed experts, they simply threw mathematical equations and scientific terms at me in abundance.
Naturally, this amplified my confusion. But, I came to realize that the most important factor of your golf cart is runtime. How far can I travel in my golf cart before I need to charge it?
To help you avoid the same obstacles I endured, I have decided to review the 48 vs 72-volt golf cart. The idea is to help you identify which model best suits your needs and budget.
Introduction To Golf Carts Models
The golf market today boasts a wide range of 48 and 72-volt options. 48-volts are a popular option as they are more affordable to maintain, and they deliver a moderate level of power.
The 72-volt options are more powerful and can deliver accelerated speeds for longer. However, they require more battery packs than a 48-volt cart, increasing the upfront and maintenance costs.
Before the 48-volt reigned supreme, golf carts came in a 36-volt option. While this was an affordable vehicle to set up and maintain, it was simply unable to deliver the power and speed of the 48-volt.
48-Volt Golf Carts
- There is a lower upfront cost for batteries
- Reduced depth of discharge over 72-volt carts
- Requires fewer batteries to run, reducing battery installation time
- Less power and weaker acceleration
- Shorter run time
- Replacement motors are expensive
In 1995, Club Car and Yamaha became the first golf cart manufacturers to release a 48-volt golf cart. Forging a path away from the 36-volt products that had previously ruled the industry. It would take another 13 years before EZGO joined the party. Releasing their version in 2008.
48-volt golf carts offer an excellent middle ground between the fast and powerful 72-volt and the less boisterous 36-volt vehicles. Furthermore, they provide an excellent affordable alternative to the higher voltage carts.
48-Volt Golf Carts Features and Benefits
To meet the required 48-volts, you can equip your cart with three different battery options. These are 6-volts, 8-volts, and 12-volts. The 6-volt option is the most expensive, but it is also the most efficient overall. If this is the path you wish to pursue, you will need to purchase eight packs of 6-volt batteries.
If an option in the middle of the road suits you better. Then you may want to consider 8-volt batteries. These are slightly more powerful and affordable than the 6-volt units.
Finally, those of you who seek power and speed over everything else can fit your cart with four 12-volt battery packs. Bear in mind that these batteries will require charging quicker than the smaller voltage packs.
The higher the voltage of your cart, the better its acceleration and power will be. Stanford Emeritus Professor Vaughan Pratt likens the process to water pressure in a garden hose. As you increase the water pressure coming out of the tap. The power and reach of the water are amplified.
As golf carts rise in voltage. The number of flowing electrons increases, which in turn prompts a faster acceleration.
With that in mind, a 48-volt capacity cart does carry the acceleration capabilities found in the 72-volt vehicle.
The higher the voltage of your golf cart, the more efficient the transfer of power will be. Leading to a reduced loss of energy when transferred from the battery to your motor. Therefore higher voltage vehicles can run for longer, which means that the 48-volt golf carts will provide less runtime than the 72-volt.
Installation and Maintenance
48-volt golf carts require fewer batteries than a 72-volt cart, which results in an expedited installation process. Furthermore, fewer batteries to maintain means fewer maintenance costs.
On top of the battery maintenance, you should carry out the following maintenance on both 48 and 72-volt carts:
- Pressure washing the cart and its undercarriage
- Brake checks
- Oil checks
- Check your steering
- Grease points
- Tighten suspension
72-Volt Golf Carts
- Increased power
- Delivers greater distance
- Provides accelerated speeds for longer
- Faster charge
- Expensive to operate
- More batteries required than the 48-volt carts
- Increased installation time, given the additional quantity of batteries that are required.
72-Volt Golf Carts Features and Benefits
Most 72-volt golf carts will have the capacity to carry six 12-volt battery packs to power them. Since you will require more batteries than the 48-volt, it means that you will need to budget for a higher upfront cost in that regard.
72-volt golf carts offer you the most power and speed out of the other models on the market. The cart’s increased voltage enhances the flow of electrons. Providing you with amplified acceleration over lower voltage vehicles.
Since carts with higher voltages provide a more efficient transfer of energy, they can use a lower current. A lower current leads to lower resistance losses, which translates to reduced energy loss. This enables the cart to run for longer at an efficient speed.
Installation and Maintenance
72-volt golf carts demand the same regular maintenance that you would undertake on the 48-volt vehicles. However, since you will need to purchase more battery packs, there will be a longer installation time and higher upfront cost.
Depending on how long you intend on keeping your cart. You will need to budget more for replacing the batteries on the 72-volt compared to the 48-volt.
48 vs 72 – Volt Golf Carts – Power Comparison
Golf carts with a higher voltage can deliver more acceleration and speed. This is a result of the increased force generated by an enhanced flow of electrons. As a result, the 72-volt golf cart provides you with more speed and power.
48 vs 72 – Volt Golf Carts – Runtime Comparison
Higher voltage vehicles operate off a lower current. Which reduces the loss of energy during the transfer of power from the battery to the motor.
As a result, carts with a higher voltage capacity can run for longer. Therefore the 72-volt carts are the superior option in this category.
48 vs 72 – Volt Golf Carts – Cost of Batteries
48-volt golf carts require fewer batteries, which slightly reduces the cost of your initial acquisition and the subsequent replacements. Therefore the lower voltage vehicle takes this round.
48 vs 72 – Volt Golf Carts – Installation and Maintenance
While both carts demand the same level of maintenance of the overall vehicle. They differ when it comes to batteries. 48-volt golf carts require fewer batteries to operate, are easier to maintain, and more cost-effective. With that in mind, it is the 48-volt cart that takes this round.
In our review of a 48 vs 72-volt golf cart, we notice that the lower voltage cart has a slightly lower cost when it comes to batteries and is also easier to maintain. The 72-volt carts, on the other hand, deliver superior acceleration and speed. They also enjoy a longer running time.
Therefore the 72-volt golf cart is my preferred choice. It gives you everything you need and goes for longer, so you can be assured you will never be stranded out on the course.
If you are currently in the market for a new golf cart, you can view several options over here.
- Gas vs Electric Golf Cart
- The 10 Best Golf Carts on The Market in 2023
- The 5 Best Golf Cart Batteries For Longevity and Price
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.