Power your ride: the best golf cart batteries of 2023

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If you live on the golf course and figure you should have your own cart or just want one as a personal toy, you’ll need to maintain it, and one of the biggest expenses is the batteries a golf cart uses. The batteries that are most ubiquitous are 8-volt and 12-volt, but just like any piece of equipment that’ll take up space in your garage, you’ll need to properly research how to maintain and care for your side ride. 51.2v 100ah Lifepo4 Battery

Power your ride: the best golf cart batteries of 2023

The first place to start is with your battery selection. The most popular golf cart battery categories are: flooded (lead-acid), absorbent glass mat (AGM), and lithium-ion. There’s much to research about golf cart batteries, including voltage, charging time, duration of use, and perhaps most importantly, maintenance, but consult your cart manufacturer’s recommendations as a starting point for all of this. Then, check out our top choices to get you from tee to green and from the clubhouse to your doorstep.

Staff favorite: Amstron GC2 6V AGM Deep Cycle Battery Best budget: ExpertPower EXP33 12V 33Ah General Purpose VRLA Battery Best lithium-ion: Enduro Power Baja Series 12v 300Ah Deep Cycle Lithium Battery Best flooded lead-acid: Trojan T-105 6V Flooded Battery

We conducted an exhaustive look into various manufacturer websites and customer favorites. Much of our research focused on how each type of battery functions, how much energy output and duration they deliver, and what goes into the maintenance of the battery. 

Voltage and amperage are important because they’ll translate to run time, known as c-rate. The batteries we chose offer the best overall value in each of their respective categories. Typically, lead-acid batteries are the most affordable, while lithium-ion tends to be the most expensive.

AGM batteries offer the best value for power, duration, and cost, and therefore provide the best of both worlds in terms of price and longevity. Another battery category is gel-based, but given their cost and performance, we found they didn’t offer better value over AGM batteries.

Benefits — 475 mins. of run time on a single charge — Low maintenance — Reduces heat generation during charge cycles

Amstron’s AGM battery is an excellent combination of price and performance, making it our top pick overall. AGM batteries can use more of their charge over their life span compared to flooded lead-acid batteries. That longevity makes it a more efficient purchase over time despite its higher upfront costs.

This battery has lower amp hours (210Ah) than other battery categories, meaning it can run 10.5 amps for 20 hours. A 25-amp golf cart could run 475 minutes on this battery, while higher amp carts would have reduced run time. A 75-amp cart would run for 124 minutes, only powering you through nine holes in a typical round. Despite this, variations in motor demands at varying speeds will affect battery usage, and it’s often recommended to oversize your battery capacity by 20% to accommodate this. 

The other big advantage of AGM batteries is that they’re maintenance-free, whereas flooded lead-acid batteries must be refilled with distilled water. Further, AGM batteries are sealed and charge five times faster than flooded lead-acid batteries. Given the quality performance of AGM batteries in general, and this model in particular, we recommend starting your search in this category for the best combination of performance and price.

Voltage: 6V | Amperage: 210Ah | Battery type: AGM lead-acid | Expected life cycle: Up to 10 years | Measurements: 10.24 x 7.09 x 10.79 in.

Benefits — Up to 10-year life cycle — Low cost

Drawbacks — Low capacity compared to others

Flooded lead-acid batteries like this one are cheaper but require more maintenance. For this particular model, it can run for 260 cycles, but it’s often recommended that its discharge be dropped to 50% to gain 500 cycles. Our AGM pick can run 80% discharge for the duration of its life cycle, which means that even when it’s ready to be replaced, it’ll still offer nearly full power. 

Flooded lead-acid batteries’ performance wanes over time and drops precipitously compared to AGM and lithium-ion. But that loss of power is made up by their super cheap price and market familiarity. Certainly, if servicing a fleet of golf carts for a course, the lower upfront costs for these batteries may outweigh long-term efficiency of other options while still providing years of service.

Still, up to five years of life is a great bargain for batteries in this category when their unit price is often under $100. If maintaining the battery isn’t a problem for you and saving your upfront costs is essential, this ExpertPower is an excellent model to choose for a single personal golf cart or an entire fleet.

Voltage: 12V | Amperage: 33Ah | Battery type: Flooded lead-acid | Expected life cycle: 3-5 years | Measurements: 7.72 x 5.16 x 6.34 in.

Benefits — High continuous amperage output of 250 — 10-year warranty — Efficient

The high price of these batteries can be slightly misleading as they’re often sold in packs, whereas other batteries might only list a single unit price. At any rate, lithium-ion is the gold standard of power, efficient performance, and longevity with these batteries offering over 3,500 cycles of power — seven times that of our best budget pick.

In addition to longevity, the Enduro has an amperage of 300Ah and can discharge continuously at 250Ah, giving it excellent run times. Additionally, cold weather won’t affect the battery’s ability to charge quickly, which is a problem for flooded lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries’ compact and lightweight nature makes it easier to maneuver a cart around the golf course and puts less stress on the cart’s electrical system. 

These batteries are becoming more popular because they’re easy to use and maintain, have faster charging times, and are easily recyclable once their life span ends. For a personal golf cart, this battery is a great choice because you won’t have to worry about cold weather affecting its performance, and you can rely on it to charge quickly. 

Just like your power tools or phone, the cart will power up and go once the batteries are fully charged, running at full speed until the next recharging is necessary. The high cost can be off-putting, but for ease of use, this is your best bet.

Voltage: 14.4-14.6V | Amperage: 300Ah | Battery type: Lithium-ion | Expected life cycle: 3,500+ cycles or 10 years | Measurements: 20.5 x 10.6 x 8.7 in.

Benefits — Superior capacity — 225Ah — 18-month warranty

Drawbacks — Can only be discharged to 50% capacity — Must be installed and charged in ventilated compartments — Pricey

Trojan is the premier brand in the flooded lead-acid category for its superior performance and longevity — but those two traits come with a higher price tag. Various battery distributors online will tell you in their buying guides that you get what you pay for.

The Trojan is a battery built to last, and that’s why its price is higher than other flooded lead-acid batteries in its segment. The Trojan T-105 battery has 447 minutes (7.45 hours) of run time for a single golf cart consuming 25 amps and 115 minutes (1.9 hours) for a golf cart consuming 75 amps. While that’s not quite as long as our best overall pick, the Trojan has a higher c-rate, meaning it can accommodate higher amperage.

One downside to the Trojan, even with its high price, is that it’s plagued by the troubles of all flooded lead-acid batteries: high maintenance inputs, cold weather affecting performance, and a lower life span compared to the AGM and lithium-ion. Yet, the Trojan is no false gift for golf carts in warm weather climates where frost delays are few and far between. It’s got the power.

Voltage: 6V | Amperage: 225Ah | Battery type: Flooded lead-acid | Expected life cycle: 7-9 years with rigorous maintenance | Measurements: 10.30 x 7.13 x 11.15 in.

The picks above represent our best advice for those who own a own golf cart and are DIYers. Many folks will rely on their manufacturer’s or retailer’s advice, just as many take their car to the dealership for maintenance. But battery technology is improving, and with that comes more efficient batteries with less harmful effects on you and the environment. Cost should always be a consideration, and we tried to find picks that reflect sensible spending with top-notch performance. In some cases, by moving a lighter battery, you can increase the speed of your cart, as lithium-ion batteries can weigh a third of some AGM and flooded lead-acid options. 

The best battery for you will be determined by your values of price, performance, and longevity. You must also be honest about how many cycles you’ll run your golf cart and drain its battery. 

Batteries can either be really cheap or really expensive. All of these batteries will power your cart, but the question you’ll need to ask yourself in choosing a battery is how often you’re willing to maintain it. If you can provide scheduled maintenance, then a lower-priced flooded lead-acid is a good choice for you. If you’re forgetful or just want to zip around when it’s time to zip around, we suggest paying more for a battery that doesn’t require as much fuss. Given the price of a golf cart, if you’re using this as a personal vehicle, you may very well be able to spend a little extra on a maintenance-free battery. 

This can be a little hard to understand since all golf carts have a top speed that you probably can’t exceed regardless of battery choice. Performance, in this case, is how efficient the battery is and how much of its capacity you can use. Flooded lead-acid batteries may only allow for 50% of their power to be discharged because that keeps the battery running longer. AGM and lithium-ion don’t require this, and that’s why they perform better over the life span of use. 

The last thing you want to do is replace your cart’s batteries every year or even every few years. Flooded lead-acid batteries can run for a long time with proper care, and lithium-ion batteries will probably outlast your seat coverings. If you’re going to use your golf cart for more than just golf, the upgrade to lithium-ion may well be worth it because you just have to charge it up (again and again) to get the most use out of the batteries. And with long warranties on those batteries, there may very well be a small risk of spending more upfront for not having to think about replacing it for a decade. 

Lithium-ion batteries will last the longest, though a well-maintained flooded lead-acid from Trojan gives them a run for their money.

Yes. They run long when cared for properly, and their thick casing helps keep them impervious to foul weather and rough rides. There’s a difference in quality to these batteries, and the price justly reflects that.

It can be but may not be the be-all end-all. You’ll need to see what voltage your cart is and how many batteries you’ll need to run it, but the high Ah will allow you more run time in your cart. Again, depending on your personal use, you’ll want to consider how much run time you need on any given day.

Michael Croley is a freelance golf writer in Ohio. His features, reviews, and essays have appeared in Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, The Golfer’s Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Esquire, and McKellar. He is the author of a short story collection, Any Other Place.


Power your ride: the best golf cart batteries of 2023

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