Choosing a Golf Cart: Gas versus Electric Power
If you're in the market for a golf cart, one of the first decisions that you'll need to make is the choice between gas and electric power. While both models will get you across the green, one may suit your style or budget more than the other, so you'll need to consider the pros and cons of each type to make a fully-informed purchase decision.
But what if you've never bought a golf cart before? How can you be sure which features are better or cheaper than others? What should you look for in terms of power, performance and precision?
If you're new and confused in the world of golf carts, consider this your comprehensive guide to gas versus electric power.
How do golf carts work?Gas-powered golf carts run on combustion engines. These engines are usually four-stroke, but older models might use two-stroke instead. They're fueled with regular gas like any car or truck.
Electric golf carts run on battery cells. Most of them are 36-volt or 48-volt. The batteries need to be regularly recharged to keep the cart going.
Price difference between electric and gas golf carts
It's difficult to give a price range for golf carts since there are so many factors that go into their cost, but speaking very generally, used gas-powered carts are more expensive than electric ones. They're also harder to find good used gas carts since there are fewer of them coming back in on trades.
On the flip side, electric carts can be cheaper depending on the condition of the batteries. At RMI Golf Carts, we sell every used golf cart with a set of brand new batteries. We are unique in that aspect. Many of our competitors will sell used carts with used batteries. That’s something to be mindful of when shopping.
Think carefully about your budget before you decide on your chosen golf cart. The decision that you make today could have a big impact on your expenses tomorrow.
Strength and durability of each golf cartThis too also depends on make and model. The common thought with most first time buyers is gas carts are more powerful than electrics. This can be true when looking at the older 36v carts, however the newer 48v carts, specifically the Yamaha and EZGO AC Electric carts have a ton of power and will actually pull hills just as well, or even better than many gas carts.
Pollution from golf carts
Gas-powered golf carts run on traditional fuel and produce carbon monoxide emissions. They do have a “gas smell” especially in confined area like a garage or shed. A lot of the newer gas models do a better job of routing exhaust and minimizing the gas smell.
Electric golf carts, on the other hand, produce no fumes or emissions. They run on rechargeable batteries that don't harm the surrounding environment. They're the "green" option for buyers concerned about their carbon footprint. When it comes to eco-friendliness, electric golf carts have a clear edge over gas ones.
Noise level of each golf cartElectric golf carts accelerate quickly and quietly. They make very little noise on the green, so they're an attractive option for golfers who don't like to announce their presence on every hole.
Gas-powered golf carts are relatively noisy. Newer models are better in this regard than older ones, but even a high-tech gas vehicle can only muffle so much of the combustion engine's natural rumble. If noise level is an important concern of yours, you'll probably want to avoid a gas-powered golf cart.
Golf cart maintenanceAll golf carts require regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly, but the type and duration of this upkeep will vary depending on your cart's model, brand, size and power source.
Gas-powered golf carts need things like oil changes and replacement parts. You might need to repair anything from a spark plug to a starter belt, and if you aren't able to DIY it, you'll be on the hook for both labor and material costs. Gas carts also require a steady stream of fuel, and that will cost you every time that you're at the pump.
Electric golf carts require charging. Golf Carts need to be charged after every single use. If the cart is not being used regularly then they should be charged every few weeks. We normally don’t like going over a month without a good charge on the batteries. All electric carts do come with a charger. However, batteries will need replacing at some point. Again, this varies on usage and maintenance. Most of our customers get on average 4-5 years out of a set of batteries before they will need to be replaced. Finally the most important thing for maintenance on an electric cart is checking the water on the batteries. It’s a good habit to check the water level in the batteries once per month. Do this year around if possible! Doing this will significantly increase the life on the battery pack!
Golf cart considerationsGas-powered golf carts can come with a fuel gauge that will let you know when you're running on empty. Electric carts don't always offer a battery gauge like this, though they can be purchased and installed as an extra.
Some electric golf carts are "street legal." They can be driven on roads and boulevards with speed limits less than 30-35 miles per hour.
With the purchase of any golf cart, it's important to look at their features and functions to ensure that you're making the right choice. How many passengers can sit comfortably? How much storage space do you have for your clubs? Does the cart's aesthetic match your personality?
Finding the right golf cart for youGas-powered golf carts are strong, steady operators. Electric golf carts are more convenient to use and better for the environment. There's no right or wrong answer when deciding which of these sounds more appealing to you; it all depends on your personal needs and preferences. No matter what you're looking for in a golf cart, just make sure that you give the matter plenty of thought before pulling out your credit card!
Please feel free to reach out to us anytime with any questions!