Should I Buy a Gas or an Electric Golf Cart

golf cart engineWhen deciding between buying a gas vs electric golf cart, there are several different factors to consider. I have outlined a few factors below that should help you in this decision making process.

Start-up Cost: In today’s market, pre-owned gasoline golf carts have become very scarce in comparison to their electric counterparts. This has had a direct influence on the price of the vehicle and thus has driven the price high. As the gas carts age, they also become hard to find in good condition given the number of moving parts compared to electric. You can expect to pay 10-15% more for a pre-owned gas golf Cart over an electric one.

Performance: Electric and gas golf carts perform very equally on even ground. In terms of climbing hills, gas carts have a slight advantage over the older 36 Volt battery systems but are very comparable to the newer 48 Volt systems. Electric golf carts will give you more torque than a gas model given its direct drive system. In terms of acceleration, electric is quicker and smoother from the starting point right up to its top speed. It is also relatively easier to increase the maximum achievable speed on newer electric carts through the use of a hand-held programmer. In terms of driving time, an electric golf cart with decent batteries should give you a travelling distance of 20 km or more. Gasoline carts will do 5 times that distance on a tank of gas. It is for this reason that in certain circumstances, a gas powered golf cart is a must. If you plan on using your cart all day long, this is a factor you must consider when deciding between gas and electric.

Operating cost: In terms of operating a gasoline powered golf cart, you are at the mercy of gas prices. Most golf courses have switched their fleets over to electric for this very reason. The cost of electricity compared to gas is significantly less.

DCFN0003.JPGMaintenance: Both gas and electric vehicles require regular maintenance to keep them operating optimally. Electrics require significantly less maintenance due simply to the fact that they have so few moving parts compared to their gasoline counterparts. Batteries in electric carts can easily last a private user anywhere from 8-10 years if they are maintained properly. Gasoline golf carts require annual servicing including (but not limited to) changing the oil, filters and spark plugs. Your drive and starter belts should also be changed every 2-3 years to keep the cart running properly. Other maintenance costs could include changing your starter battery, clutches, and starter brushes. Electric golf carts need to have their batteries changes out every 8-10 years. While this cost is a heavy burden for most (usually $650-$900), it is a lot cheaper than the costs of maintaining a gasoline cart when you factor in your annual servicing and parts. One of the most overlooked factors in deciding between gas or electric is the condition of the engine and motor. An electric motor will last for a very long time in comparison to a gasoline engine.

Noise: Electric golf carts are virtually silent. Many appreciate this feature for use in hunting and/or getting around smaller communities without making a lot of noise. Newer gas carts though never as quiet as electric have come a long way from their 2-stroke ancestors. This is especially true with the newer fuel-injected models.

Emissions: Electric golf carts emit zero emissions. For this reason, they have become especially useful indoors where gasoline carts would otherwise not be permitted. Gasoline carts have improved vastly over the years with the 4-cycle engine but they do still emit pollutants to the air.

To put it in simple form, probably 80% of people who use golf carts will be better off with an electric cart over gas. They are easier to operate, maintain and service. If you don’t plan on travelling long distances without plugging in for a charge, then buy electric. If you are using your cart in a place where there is no time (or access) to charge or if you simply don’t want to have to worry about running out of juice, then gas is what you are looking for.

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