If you own a golf cart or are planning to purchase one, at some point, you’re going to need to replace the batteries. This is something that most golf cart owners dread since batteries aren’t cheap, no matter which type you choose to use.
Lithium batteries have grown in popularity over the last few years due to their many benefits. However, the upfront cost of lead-acid batteries is a whole lot cheaper. Are lithium batteries worth the extra cost? And how much can you expect to spend on each type? To prepare for this eventuality, let’s discuss the costs of each and what you’ll get for that pricing.
Lead-acid batteries are the traditional type you’ll find in most golf carts. Even though you’ll need more lead-acid batteries to run your golf cart than lithium, they’re still the cheapest option when you have to make that purchase.
Pricing for lead-acid batteries runs between $800 and $2000, depending on the size of your cart and other factors. Note that this includes the installation fee, which you’ll likely want since lead-acid batteries are cumbersome and can cause problems if you don’t install them properly. But, if you’re strong and pretty handy, you can definitely cut the cost by installing them yourself.
Factors that Affect the Cost
A few factors influence the price of lead-acid batteries. On average, you’ll likely spend between $900 and $1500. If you have a larger 72V golf cart, you’ll be looking closer to the $2000 mark.
The volts and amperage are the most important factor that affects the price. Basically, this is the power and the charge of the battery. Higher voltage will allow you to drive faster and have more energy to get up hills. Higher amperage will allow your cart to travel longer distances, and they offer a longer battery life. So higher-priced batteries will usually last longer than cheaper ones.
Different brands also charge different prices. Well-known, high-quality brands will be more expensive. Usually, these brands will also offer some type of warranty with their batteries. Going with one of these brands will ensure that your cart runs well but at a higher cost.
Since 2018, lithium batteries have been gaining traction in the golf cart world. This is because of the many features and benefits that they provide. Not only do you need fewer batteries total to power your cart, but they’re also a lot lighter, last longer, and don’t require any maintenance. Some golf carts have now already come stocked with lithium batteries!
Lithium batteries usually cost between $1,500 and $3,000 for a complete conversion. The cost varies based on the same factors as lead-acid batteries. So, brand name, volts, and amperage, Ah (amp hours) and installation costs. While this number may look daunting compared to the lead-acid battery cost, lithium batteries will save you money in the long run.
Cost Savings Over Time
The number one reason that you’ll save money with lithium batteries is that they last much longer than lead-acid. In fact, you’re likely to get an extra 4-5 years of use out of them! They last 3-5 times longer than the traditional lead-acid battery because they get 2,000 to 5,000 cycles, whereas lead-acids only get 500-1,000. You can learn more about lithium batteries’ lifespan here.
Lithium batteries also take less time to charge and can use their full charge. This means you won’t have to charge your golf cart as often or as long, saving you money on your electric bill!
Since lithium batteries are so much lighter, they’re also a lot easier to install. They’re very easy to switch out because most are drop-in ready. You’ll just need to remove your lead-acid batteries and replace them with your lithium batteries. Reattach all the cables and secure the holding brackets. Such a simple process with lighter batteries means you could potentially save a lot of money just by installing them yourself.
Another huge advantage to lithium batteries is that they don’t require any maintenance. They don’t contain any acid, so you don’t have to worry about hazardous spills. You won’t need to add water, check acid levels, or clean any corrosion. If you take your golf cart in for regular maintenance, you’ll be saving all the money you’d typically spend on these services. Even if you do this yourself, you’ll still be saving time and money on the tools necessary to do the job.
If you already own a golf cart with lead-acid batteries and you’re happy with the power and speed, you may not need to rush out and make the switch to lithium. However, if you’d like more oomph when going uphill and want to travel at higher speeds, lithium can help you do that.
Lithium batteries are also newer technology and feature upgraded safety systems that monitor the batteries. These systems improve both safety and reliability of the batteries. You can read more about these features here.
Let’s take another quick look at the benefits and advantages you’ll get with lithium batteries.
- Lighter weight
- Faster speeds
- Energy efficient
- Longer battery life
- Zero maintenance
- Better power output
- Fewer batteries total
- Cost-savings over time
- Increased safety and reliability
Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you’re interested in having a golf cart with better performance, safety and reliability, and saving money in the long term, lithium batteries are the clear choice.