What to Know About Voltage and Amperage in Golf Cart Batteries

What to Know About Voltage and Amperage in Golf Cart Batteries

If there is one thing that can be overlooked when looking at an electric Golf Cart’s batteries, then it would have to do with determining voltage and amperage in golf cart batteries– essentially the difference between 36 Volt on up to 48 Volt systems. The reason understanding their differences is so important is due to the large expense of replacement batteries. By knowing their differences ahead of time, you will be able to decipher which battery pack is suitable for you when making your golf cart purchase.

 

Voltage in a Golf Cart Battery Pack

First, we are going to take a close look at Voltage in a battery pack and what that determines. For comparison purposes, we like to take a look at the automotive industry since we all our familiar with horsepower and MPG. Therefore, Voltage in a battery pack inside of an electric vehicle has to do with power. It does not have to do with fuel. Therefore, voltage in a battery pack within a golf cart will be comparable to the horsepower in a car. With this knowledge in place, we can determine a 72 volt system can be more powerful than a 48 volt system, and a 48 volt system can be more powerful than a 36 volt system. If you took notice, we said that it “can” be more powerful. The reason for this is due large in part to the controller inside the vehicle. A controller determines how much Amperage is delivered from the batteries to the controller. What does amperage have to do with a battery pack? Let’s discuss.

 

Amperage in a Golf Cart Battery Pack

Volts is great to know, however the true knowledge lies with the total amperage in a battery pack. To get a better idea of what amperage is like in a car, let us discuss the relationship between Horsepower and MPG. Horsepower within a car determines the acceleration and power of your car. If there is no fuel in the car though, then the vehicle is not going to go anywhere. That is the importance of MPG and also how big your gas tank is in your car. It determines how far you can travel before having to fill up the tank. Well, Amperage in a golf cart is like the gas tank in your car. It will determine how far you can travel on a single charge in an electric Golf Car. The more amperage in a battery pack, the further you can drive before having to charge.

 

Click here to learn how to determine the age of golf cart batteries.

 

The Importance of Distinguishing your Battery Pack

Now that we understand the differences between Amperage and Voltage, we can begin to break this down so we can locate the differences between various battery packs. For standard golf carts, we will typically see a Six Eight Volt Battery System. This can be visually determined by locating six batteries with 8 cells per battery. A cell is distinguished by a battery cap that is used for watering the batteries. With batteries used in Golf Carts, each cell will represent 2 Volts. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common battery packs we see in the market:

Battery SystemTotal VoltsTotal Amps (Approx)Travel Distance
6-6 Volts36 Volts1,350Approx 22 Miles
4-12 Volts48 Volts600Approx 12 Miles
6-8 Volts48 Volts1,020Approx 19 Miles
8-6 Volts48 Volts1,800Approx 35 Miles
6-12 Volts72 Volts900Approx 17 Miles

 

*Battery Amperage calculated using Trojan Batteries at a 20 Amp-Hour Capacity Rate

Now, that we have broken this down, we want to make sure we iterate that top speed, acceleration, and other parameters will alter travel distances. Therefore, we calculated mileage distances off a standard 19.9 MPH calculation and an acceleration rate of 20 MPH within 10-11 seconds.

With our chart, we can see the variety of uses for each battery pack. The best battery pack to use in terms of power and range would be an 8-6 Volt Battery pack. However, if you have determined the Golf Cart will be driven less than 5 miles per day, than you can have your pick of battery packs. Keep in mind though that a standard 18 holes of golf ranges between 5-7 miles per round.

We hope this information helps you become more educated about the differences between all these battery packs and how they affect you. If you have any additional questions, please comment below!

Caleb Amundson
Caleb Amundson is a professional in the Golf Cart Industry with 8+ years experience and has held positions in a Golf Cart Dealership such as a Service Tech, Sales Manager, and General Manager. In addition, he has also worked as a Regional Sales Manager for an OEM in the Golf Cart Industry.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. This article was extremely helpful. However, since I am a red neck from Idaho, I am always looking for a cheaper way to do things. So here is my question. I picked up an old Club Cart a few weeks back. It has a 6 x 6v system. Of course the batteries are trash. I just happen to have 3 good 12v gel cell 35ah batteries laying around the garage. #1: can I do just a straight up swap, the 3 x 12v for the 6 x 6v? #2: about how many miles can I expect to get out of that pack considering they are only 35ah batteries?
    #3: Is there some kind of formula I can use to figure miles/hours of use from what ever a batteries’ voltage is and it’s amp hours rating?
    #4: I also hear the term amp use rate. Ie. 20amp rate. what does that mean?
    Please, any info/help you can give me on all this will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Don

  2. Hi Don!

    Great questions! You can do a straight up swap between the 3 x 12V and 6 x 6V, however, the vehicle will be severely limited on range. Also, you will not be able to use your standard charger that is with the vehicle. There is a formula, however more info is needed such as tire size, controller output, motor size, terrain the vehicle will be driving as well as the top speed/acceleration. In terms of 20 amp rate, that determines the peak output of your charger. Now, when you charge your vehicle, it does not consistently output 20 amps, however over time (8-12 hours) it will lower its amp rate to a trickle charge (1-3 amps) to help top off the charge of the batteries.

    Hope this information is helpful!
    Thanks

  3. Hey, thank you so much for that information. I will be using the cart for running around the yard. So distance is not a real issue. Out of curiosity, why will the charger that came with my cart not work to charge the 3 x 12v pack?
    Thanks,
    Don

  4. Hi! Can I use a standard side post battery disconnect like the Wirthco 20307 on my golf cart to disconnect the batteries when in storage, or do I need a heavier duty disconnect?

  5. Don,

    The charger that came with your vehicle is designed to charge deep cycle batteries where as 12V batteries are typically starter batteries designed for a car looped in with an alternator.

  6. Pete,

    This Wirthco 20307 is designed for 12V systems and does not indicate that it will work for 36V or 48V systems. Therefore, we would not advise it. Definitely worth asking the question though.

    Thanks

  7. I love this website and information. I have a few things to add though. In any battery application, when you series batteries (positive of 1 to the negative of the next) you double your voltage, but your capacity remains the same. Three opposite applies to parallel connections (positive to positive, negative to negative), this doubles capacity while voltage remains the same. Therefore, off you have a Club Car with 6-8V 150AH batteries, hooked in series to 48 Volts, your Amp Hour rate remains 150Ah @ 20hr rate. Just wanted to touch on your Voltage vs. Amperage chart. Thank you for all of this great information. Regards, Battery Warehouse of Georgia.

  8. My husband bought me an old Ezgo cart. He has since passed away. I love this old thing, I want to know if i can simply get 6 new batteries and charger,, even if smaller – because i am just strolling around my yard,not caring about speed as long as the charge will last couple hours of stopping and going I am good with that. UPG UB12350 (Group U1) Battery – Universal Battery – 12V 35Ah – 2 Pack times 3, need 6 total. Will it work and go??

  9. Linda,

    The battery you are looking at is designed as a battery for a small wheelchair. Not for sustaining a golf cart for driving. Our highest recommendation would be to contact your local dealer via our dealer locator listing found here:

    Golf Cart Dealer Locator

    Speak with your local golf cart expert and get their assistance with finding the right batteries for your unit. We appreciate you being a reader of Golf Cart Resource.

    Thanks

  10. MRS. LINDA,

    I UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION YOU ARE IN. THE UPG 12V 35AH BATTERIES ARE AGM WHEEL CHAIR BATTERIES. FOR YOUR 36 GOLF CART YOU WOULD NEED 3 OF THESE BATTERIES (12V EACH CONNECTED IN SERIES GIVES 24 VOLTS.) HOWEVER, EVEN THOUGH THESE ARE DEEP CYCLE BATTERIES, THERE WILL BE A FEW ISSUES TO CONSIDER.

    #1 – AGM BATTERIES REQUIRE AN “AGM” COMPATIBLE CHARGER. FOR 35AH BATTERIES ONLY A 5 AMP CHARGER IS NECESSARY, BUT PERSONALLY I WOULD GET AN 8 AMP BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THE EXTRA JUICE!

    #2 – 36V GOLF CART BATTERY PACKS, FOR REFERENCE, START AT 200AH OR SO. A PACK OF 200AH BATTERIES IN A GOLF CART GIVES ABOUT 1.5 ROUNDS OF GOLF, TO PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE. WITH THE AMP DRAW FROM A GOLF CART, ON A 35AH BATTERY, YOU WILL PROBABLY ONLY GET TO PLAY 3-4 HOLES!

    #3 – DISCHARGING THESE BATTERIES SO FAST TO SUCH A LOW DEPTH OF DISCHARGE IS GOING TO SHORT THEM OUT RELATIVELY FAST. THEY ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR THE HIGHER AMP DRAIN THAT THE GOLF CART WILL REQUIRE.

    ALL IN ALL, IT IS POSSIBLE TO RUN THE BATTERIES YOU DESCRIBED ABOVE, HOWEVER, IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT THEY ARE NOT USED IN A GOLF CART APPLICATION.

    YOUR BEST BET IS TO FIND A LOCAL BATTERY SPECIALIST/ SUPPLIER AND ASK ABOUT REFURBISHED/ USED GOLF CART BATTERIES. THEY USUALLY RUN ABOUT HALF THE COST OF A NEW SET AND COULD GIVE YOU YEARS OF SERVICE. THE CHARGER THAT CAME WITH THE CART, IF FUNCTIONING PROPERLY, WILL BE ABLE TO BE USED ON THESE BATTERIES, BUT NOT ON THE AGM BATTERIES.

    I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU OUT IN YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS.

    THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.

  11. I have an ezgo cart that needs new batteries. 4-12 volt batteries. Will the 35ah deep cycle batteries work and if so, approximately how far can i go on a single charge? And will my charger work with said batteries? Thanks for any help!

  12. Tod,

    The battery you are looking at is designed as a battery for a small wheelchair. Not for sustaining a golf cart for driving. Our highest recommendation would be to contact your local dealer via our dealer locator listing found here:

    Golf Cart Dealer Locator

    Speak with your local golf cart expert and get their assistance with finding the right batteries for your unit. We appreciate you being a reader of Golf Cart Resource.

  13. #1 – AGM BATTERIES REQUIRE AN “AGM” COMPATIBLE CHARGER. FOR 35AH BATTERIES ONLY A 5 AMP CHARGER IS NECESSARY, BUT PERSONALLY I WOULD GET AN 8 AMP BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THE EXTRA JUICE!
    #2 – 36V GOLF CART BATTERY PACKS, FOR REFERENCE, START AT 200AH OR SO. A PACK OF 200AH BATTERIES IN A GOLF CART GIVES ABOUT 1.5 ROUNDS OF GOLF, TO PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE. WITH THE AMP DRAW FROM A GOLF CART, ON A 35AH BATTERY, YOU WILL PROBABLY ONLY GET TO PLAY 3-4 HOLES!
    #3 – DISCHARGING THESE BATTERIES SO FAST TO SUCH A LOW DEPTH OF DISCHARGE IS GOING TO SHORT THEM OUT RELATIVELY FAST. THEY ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR THE HIGHER AMP DRAIN THAT THE GOLF CART WILL REQUIRE.
    ALL IN ALL, IT IS POSSIBLE TO RUN THE BATTERIES YOU DESCRIBED ABOVE, HOWEVER, IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT THEY ARE NOT USED IN A GOLF CART APPLICATION.
    YOUR BEST BET IS TO FIND A LOCAL BATTERY SPECIALIST/ SUPPLIER AND ASK ABOUT REFURBISHED/ USED GOLF CART BATTERIES. THEY USUALLY RUN ABOUT HALF THE COST OF A NEW SET AND COULD GIVE YOU YEARS OF SERVICE. THE CHARGER THAT CAME WITH THE CART, IF FUNCTIONING PROPERLY, WILL BE ABLE TO BE USED ON THESE BATTERIES, BUT NOT ON THE AGM BATTERIES.
    I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU OUT IN YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS.
    THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.

  14. How you get 600-1220 amps (per your chart) out of a golf cart battery pack? Let’s look at the math. Eight 6v T-105’s (225ah each) gives you 48v, 225ah. at C/20, you can draw 11.25 amps for 20 hours, but since these batteries should only be discharged to 50%, you are looking at 11.25a for 10 hours.

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