Nothing beats cruising around in an electric golf cart. It’s hard to top the smooth purr of the engine, fresh air blowing in your face and the satisfaction of passing all of those lame pedestrians with ease.
However, when your golf cart batteries go dead, your luxury chariot quickly becomes a source of frustration rather than joy.
If you’re considering a golf cart battery replacement, you may be wondering:
How many batteries does a golf cart have?
An electric golf cart commonly has 4, 6, or 8 batteries depending on the voltage of the cart. However, in some rare instances, an electric cart may have 1 or 3 batteries.
On an electric cart, the batteries power the engine. Without them, your cart is pretty much useless.
A gas golf cart, on the other hand, typically has one battery (just like your car battery setup). If your cart uses a gas combustion engine, the single battery is used to help you fire up the engine and power the accessories.
On gas powered golf carts, it is the gasoline that actually powers your engine.
The rest of this post will focus on electric golf cart battery setups.
How to Figure Out How Many Batteries are in a Golf Cart
Option 1 – The Easy Way
The easy way to figure out how many batteries are in a golf cart is to flip up your seat and count the number of batteries in the battery compartment.
Don’t overcomplicate things. If that battery compartment has eight lead acid batteries, you’ve answered your question in less than 15 seconds.
Option 2 – The More Official Way
Let’s say your golf cart isn’t accessible at the moment. You can also figure out how many batteries are in a cart by finding an owner’s manual online, searching for the specs, or contacting the manufacturer directly.
In this case, you’ll need to know the make and model of your cart. The serial number can be very helpful as well.
If you are a golf cart owner, I would strongly suggest taking a photo of the model and serial number of your golf cart. I like to keep that photo on my phone for reference. This helps whenever I’m looking at golf cart parts or golf cart accessories.
Here are links to the most popular manufacturers of electric carts:
Find the information you need on their website or send them an email to get answers straight from the horse’s mouth.
Replacing Your Golf Cart Batteries
If your original search was: “how many batteries does a golf cart have”, then your next task is probably figuring out how to replace that battery pack.
Before you go too much further, I want to give you a few important warnings:
Warning #1 – Take Note of the Battery Type
If your cart runs off of lead acid batteries, you need to replace those batteries with lead acid batteries.
If your cart uses lithium golf cart batteries, you need to replace those batteries with lithium batteries.
Warning #2 – Numbers Matter
As we covered earlier, most electric golf carts have 4, 6 or 8 batteries that are connected in a series. This setup isn’t random. In fact, it’s a reflection of the voltage of your cart. Let me give some quick examples:
For a 36 volt Golf Cart
You are most likely going to have 6 batteries in total. Each battery will have 6v of power.
6 volts x 6 batteries = 36 total volts
For a 48 volt Golf Cart
You are most likely going to have 6 batteries in total. Each battery will have 8v of power.
8 volts x 6 batteries = 48 total volts
But my 48v cart only has 4 batteries. What gives?
In this case, you may have a 48v cart with 12v batteries.
12 volts x 4 batteries = 48 total volts
Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of math, but when it comes time to buy some newer batteries, you first need to know the battery voltage and current setup of your golf cart.
Warning #3 – Don’t Upgrade or Downgrade
In most instances, it’s best to just keep it simple.
If your cart uses an 8 volt battery series, you should swap out the old batteries with new 8 volt batteries. This ensures that your cart will continue to function the way that its engineers designed it.
Don’t get cute or creative. If your cart was meant to run on 8 volt batteries, switching to a series of 6 volt batteries is a stupid and dangerous idea.
In a similar fashion, if your cart was meant to run on 6 volt batteries, you shouldn’t be dropping in 8 volt batteries (unless you want to watch your cart catch on fire on the golf course).
Also worth noting: The battery charger that came with your golf cart is meant to charge that same type of deep cycle battery. You shouldn’t charge a 36v cart with a 48v charger.
Can I Upgrade to a Lithium Ion Battery?
In some cases, yes, you can actually upgrade your golf cart to a lithium setup.
However, you should consult the experts before making this change on your own. There are several companies that specialize in helping golf cart owners switch over to a lithium golf cart battery, but you should make any lithium battery upgrades with the help of an expert.
Take a look at our write-up on lithium vs lead acid golf cart batteries to better understand the pros/cons of this move.
Important Disclaimer: If you are making any changes to your golf cart battery setup, you should talk to a golf cart mechanic first.
Who Makes the Best Rechargeable Batteries?
Some would argue that the jury is still out on this question, but generally speaking, Trojan golf cart batteries are considered to be some of the best golf cart batteries on the market.
If you’re looking for a flooded lead acid battery that will hold up over time, a Trojan battery is a good place to start.
Ultimately though, good battery maintenance habits will be the key to long term battery life.
This video from Carts Gone Wild has some basic battery maintenance tips that you can follow.