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You already know Electric golf carts are fun and a better choice than a gas cart, but which Electric Cart to choose?
Which brand is the most reliable, which battery will last longer, and how about those all-important integrated USB chargers, snack tables, and even built-in refrigerators?
Make sure you choose the right electric cart for you. They are better than gas carts, aren’t they … ?

How to Choose an Electric Golf Cart
How to Choose an Electric Golf Cart

Evolution of Golf Carts

Let’s take a breezy drive down memory lane and look at how the golf cart went from glorified lawnmowers to the sleek chariots you know today.

Early Days:

  • Humble Beginnings: Golf carts started as simple, gas-powered vehicles in the 1950s. But they were cranky, loud, and, let’s be honest – they smelled like your lawnmower.

Rise of Electric:

  • Quiet Revolution: Enter the electric golf carts in the 1950s, and suddenly, golf courses sounded less like construction sites. These nifty electric versions were easier on the ears and the environment.
  • Battery Bonanza: With advances in battery tech, these carts could roam farther than ever, meaning you could play an extra round or two. No more getting stranded on the 18th hole!

Design and Features:

  • From Frumpy to Fancy: Golf carts now come with features that might make your car jealous!
  • GPS
  • Luxury adjustable seats
  • Built-in cooler (as I say to my two sons, there is always time for a snack!)
  • USB ports to charge your phone (because your golf cart is almost as important as your smartphone)

So, the electric golf cart evolved from a simple handcart to a hi-tech gadget on wheels that’s part electric vehicle, part mobile lounge.

Design and Style

When you’re zipping around the green, looking good and feeling comfortable are key. Electric golf carts have come a long way from the simple utility vehicles they once were.

Aesthetics and Customization

Think of your golf cart as your canvas on wheels. From sleek, modern lines to retro vibes, electric golf carts now offer a plethora of stylish designs that are anything but par for the course.
Feel like adding a personal touch? Many models offer customization options like:

  • Color schemes that pop or blend with the fairways
  • Sports team logos or custom graphics
  • Premium materials for seats and trims

Comfort and Ergonomics

You’ll be spending hours in your cart, so comfort and ergonomics are important.
Say goodbye to stiff backs with contoured, plush seats that make you feel like you’re cruising in a luxury sedan rather than a cart :

  • Adjustable seating for the perfect driving position
  • Tiltable steering wheels—because who needs a workout while driving?
  • Cup holders and tech-friendly consoles—because your drink and scorecard need a home, too

The integration of premium components and thoughtful design ensures that your ride isn’t just a mode of transport; it’s an extension of your golfing persona!

Technical Specifications

If you’re in the market for an electric golf cart, it’s important to know what to look for …

Motor and Performance

Electric Golf Carts have that instant power & acceleration that comes from using a battery. Have you ever been in a Tesla?!

Speed? You won’t be breaking any land speed records, but most carts reach a maximum of 15 miles per hour. Some brands, like Kandi, can go up to 25 miles per hour.

Another benefit is the motor-generative braking system which charges your battery every time you brake. It also helps reduce wear on your brakes.

Battery and Charging

The Golf Cart battery is similar to an electric car battery – but not the starter battery in a standard car, which offers very high power but for just a short time.
There isn’t just one battery in an electric golf cart; there are several linked together to reach the required 36V or 48V.

Individual batteries come as 6V, 8V, or 12V but can now even be 48V. In general, the more batteries you have linked together with a lower voltage, the better the long-lasting performance, although at a higher price.
The amperage of a battery determines how long it will last.

A typical golf cart used to come with a Flooded Acid Battery, which was cheap but high maintenance, low performing, had a low life, and poor safety! Gel batteries or lead acid batteries replace the liquid with a gel to reduce the chances of a spill. They still have the same high maintenance and lower lifespan, though.

Luckily, lithium batteries are now more common. Despite costing approximately US$2000 compared to US$1500 for a lead acid battery, they have a much longer battery life, more recharge cycles, and better safety.

Electric vs Gas Golf Carts

How to choose between an electric or gas golf cart?
The main choices are between the power needed, noise, environmental impact, range, and cost.

Environmental Impact

An electric golf cart has no nasty exhaust and, therefore, much less notice and zero emissions— although do take into account the chemical needed to produce the battery and its disposal.

Long-Term Costs

Gas golf carts might win the upfront cost battle, but electric carts clinch the war with lower maintenance costs in the long run.
Spending on electricity will be cheaper than filling up with gas, and electric carts are as low-maintenance with long-lasting lithium batteries.


An electric golf cart will generally last for 20 to 40 miles with a full charge.
Gas carts could take you up to 200 miles and, of course, are much quicker to refuel. Your only choice really for street use.

Features and Accessories

Golf Cart of the Future
Golf Cart of the Future

When you’re zipping around in your electric golf cart, you want the ride to be as smooth as a putt on a freshly-cut green. It’s all about the bells and whistles that turn a simple cart into a luxury chariot of the future!

Entertainment and Convenience

Many electric golf carts now come equipped with built-in sound systems that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth. USB charging ports, too, keep your devices juiced up. No more worrying about your phone dying on the 18th hole.

  • Bluetooth Sound System: Sync your playlist and elevate your ride.
  • USB Charging: Keep your gadgets charged from tee to green.

Safety and Visibility

Safety first, even on the fairway! Good lighting is crucial, especially if you’re cruising around early in the morning or as the sun sets. Headlights and taillights are pretty standard, and some models come with windshields and seat belts for a little extra safety.

  • Headlights/Taillights: Bright enough for very early risers and good to light up your night game.
  • Windshields & Seat Belts: Because you can’t be too safe?

What is it like to Drive an Electric Cart?

When you step into an electric golf cart, expect a mix of comfort and adventure. You’re about to glide over hills and hug corners like a pro.

Handling and Stability

Electric golf carts boast a low center of gravity, which means you get top-notch stability. Thinking of taking a sharp turn? No problem. The handling of a golf cart is like it’s on rails.

The suspension systems make those bumps and dips on the path feel more like gentle taps rather than jolts.

Terrain Adaptability

With impressive ground clearance, your electric golf cart can tackle rocky paths and conquer rough terrain with excellent maneuverability.

Golf Cart Brands and Models

When you’re cruising the green or just zipping around your community, you want the best ride around. Here’s the scoop on the brands that make the golf cart world go round.

Best Golf Car Brands – the Big Three

Club Car: They are like the Cadillacs of the golf cart world. Decked out with plush seats and smooth rides, they make models like the Onward 6 Passenger—yes, that’s for all six of your buddies. Aircraft-grade aluminum frames, too, which are lightweight and don’t rust!

  • E-Z-GO: Not quite as powerful or long-lasting as Club Car, but a solid brand, reasonable prices, simple to maintain, and a well-established parts market.
  • Yamaha: Well-known for their long history of producing high-quality engines & motors — both electric and gas.

Emerging Innovators

If you are looking beyond the Big Three, there are other terrific options that may suit you, especially if you are looking for something more luxurious, tech-savvy, faster, street-legal, or collapsible:

  • Garia: These are for golfers who want to pull up to the club in a Tesla-style cart. They’re pretty much the definition of luxury, with models like the Garia Luxury Golf Car that comes with features you never knew you needed in a golf cart.
  • Stewart Golf: Tech-savvy carts if you’re into gadgets and cutting-edge features.
  • Star EV: Street legal in most US states with some remarkable safety features.
  • Evolution: Initially coming from Asia, they are now popular in the USA with a top speed of 25mph in 5 seconds!
  • Cricket: Mini golf carts which are completely collapsible and can fit in your SUV or RV!

New or Used Electric Golf Cart?

New Electric Golf Cars For Sale
When you buy new, you’re getting the latest features with factory warranties, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny.

Used Electric Golf Carts for Sale
They can be great value, but watch out for wear and tear. Hunt for a solid frame with good batteries. Always, always test drive!

PriceHigher, but comes with peace of mind.There can be significant savings with depreciation built in
FeaturesLatest technology & safetyIf older, it may lack the latest features
There can be significant savings with depreciation built-inMake it your own direct from the dealer!‘You get what you are given’
MaintenanceManufacturer warrantyCheck it and test drive it!
FinanceMore finance options available?Less finance needed!

Maintenance and Care

Keeping your electric golf cart cruising smoothly hinges on proper care. Would you not service your car every year?

Battery Maintenance

Your electric golf cart heart is in its batteries, so treat them well.

  • Regular Charging: Keep it charged up like your favorite device—after every trip.
  • Water Levels: Top them up (but not too much).
  • Terminals: Spot any corrosion at the terminals? Act fast!

General Cleaning

Little and often, as well as a big clean before and after the Golf season.

  • Cleaning: Wipe down your chariot regularly to keep it durable and bug-free.
  • Inspection: Run an eagle-eyed check on cables and wires.
  • Tires: Keep them inflated to just the right pressure to avoid a bumpy ride.

Remember, a happy cart is a clean and well-fed cart.

Golf Cart Regulations and Etiquette

We all know there are rules in golf (well, in 1744, there were 13; in 2024, there are still only 25, but they take up 156 pages!).

Strangely, according to the USGA, “The one rule of cart traffic management is that there is no one rule.” each golf course will have its own notices at different times of the year.

However, there are three ‘common rules’ for most courses:

  • ’90 degree’ rule to minimize the amount of driving on the fairway
  • ‘Cart Path Only’ rules for certain holes
  • ‘No Carts Beyond this point’ as you approach greens.

Moving on to golf etiquette – it’s not all about quiet claps and tip-of-the-hat greetings. Driving a golf cart comes with an unwritten handbook:

  • Stick to the Path: This helps protect that precious fairway, especially on Par 3s.
  • Speed Matters: Just because you can go to 25 mph doesn’t mean it’s a minimum.
  • Sharing is Caring: Remember, golf is a genteel sport. Yield to walkers, let the wildlife play through, and maybe don’t honk at fellow golfers, even if it’s just to say hi.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Worth Buying an Electric Golf Cart?

If you value a quiet ride and want to skip the gas pump, an electric golf cart can be an excellent little investment for zipping around your community or golf course.

How Many Miles Does an Electric Golf Cart Last?

An electric golf cart can roll out around 20-40 miles on a single charge. It’s like asking how long a golf ball will travel – it really depends on how you are!

How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Golf Cart?

To fully charge an electric golf cart typically costs between $1 and $5 depending on battery size, which makes it around US$0.50 per round.

How Many Years Do Electric Golf Cart Batteries Last?

The batteries in your cart can last between 2 years for a lead acid battery and up to 10 years for a 6V lithium-ion battery, depending on maintenance & use.

Are Electric Golf Carts Easy to Drive?

Easy peasy and great fun! No license is needed on the course, and only two pedals – a brake and a gas pedal.
Push the brake pedal to open the power lock, select the forward gear, and away you go. Just don’t drive too fast around corners, and keep to the cart path before driving on the fairway (Rule 90!)

Are Electric Golf Carts Street Legal?

They can be—with the right features such as lights, signals, mirrors, horn, and a windshield.
Check your local laws, as you may need a number plate, DMV registration, and a valid driver’s license.

Who Builds the Best Electric Golf Carts?

The Big Three brands are Club Car, E-Z-Go, and Yamaha, but it depends on whether you are looking for excellent build reliability, speed, or even if it can fit into your SUV.

What are the Top 5 Electric Golf Carts for 2024?

What a question – too long to answer here. See my latest article!

And to finish, here’s one of my favorite Golf Cart Fail videos!

Geoff - everything golf cart

I’m Geoff – Short Game Expert and Part-Time Golf Coach.
(only because I love playing flop shots on my local 9-hole and passing on my favorite Pete Cowen tips to friends & family!)
My most memorable golf cart experience – racing through the streets of Hong Kong to catch the next ferry …