It’s good that you are doing some thorough research before picking up a golf cart battery for your swanky golf caddy. Replacing golf cart batteries isn’t a cheap affair, so common-sense dictates that you should choose a high-power battery that’ll last you for at least 2 years.
But here’s the catch:
We both know that such batteries don’t come cheap. So how to really strike the sweet spot between excellent, long-lasting performance and cost-effective pricing?
Enter this handy guide to 8 best golf cart batteries. In this post, I have picked out some of the most reliable golf cart batteries ranging widely in terms of capacity and price.
Apart from concise, insightful reviews, I have also added a quick guide and answered some common queries to make this whole golf cart battery hunting process easier for you.
So here it is:
- 1 Reviews of 8 Best Golf Cart Batteries
- 1.1 #1 TROJAN T-105 PLUS 6V 225 Ah
- 1.2 Pros
- 1.3 Cons
- 1.4 #2 Trojan T875 8 Volt, 170 AH
- 1.5 Pros
- 1.6 Cons
- 1.7 #3 Universal Power Group UBGC26V 200AH
- 1.8 Pros
- 1.9 Cons
- 1.10 #4 VMAXTANKS 6 Volt 225Ah AGM Golf Cart Battery
- 1.11 Pros
- 1.12 Cons
- 1.13 #5 Renogy Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery 12V 170 Ah
- 1.14 Pros
- 1.15 Cons
- 1.16 #6 Lifepo4 400ah 12V Lithium-ion Battery
- 1.17 Pros
- 1.18 Cons
- 1.19 #7 Amstron GC2 6V AGM Golf Cart Battery, 210 Ah
- 1.20 Pros
- 1.21 Cons
- 1.22 #8 Lifeline Marine AGM Battery, 6v 220 Ah
- 1.23 Pros
- 1.24 Cons
- 2 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Golf Cart Batteries
- 3 Ii. Lithium-ion batteries
- 4 How to Figure Out If You Need New Golf Cart Batteries?
- 4.1 The Signs
- 4.2 The Tests
- 4.3 How to Clean Golf Cart Batteries?
- 5 Conclusion
Reviews of 8 Best Golf Cart Batteries
Are Trojan golf cart batteries the best? Considering how they have been consistently producing quality batteries at fairly reasonable prices for years, I’d say yes.
Trojan-105 is a steal for the price is the slow discharge speed. The discharge rate printed on the battery indicates about 750 cycles, which roughly equates to 200 rounds of golf.
At the discharge rate of 447 minutes at 25 amps and 115 minutes at 75 amps, these Trojan 6V batteries ensure several uninterrupted hours of golf before burning out.
If you are looking for the absolute best batteries for your 36V E-Z-Go golf carts, Trojan deep cycle batteries would be your safest bet.
- Lightweight, weighs only about 62 pounds.
- Provides 750 life cycles.
- Can withstand repeated charging without degrading.
- Slow discharge speed allows for frequent heavy-duty use.
- Compatible with 36v golf carts.
- None so far.
8v batteries aren’t as common as 6v or 12v ones, but there are situations where 8v batteries are your best possible option. I don’t see how any other 8v battery can come anywhere close to Trojan T875. Despite the steep pricing, the T875 is worth the investment due to its phenomenal capacity and durability.
Tough as nails, these batteries are crafted to survive the roughest terrains and toughest weather conditions. It utilizes Trojan’s patented MaxGuard technology to mitigate the impact of shock and vibration. The batteries are rated for 170 Ah @20 hours and 145 Ah @5 hours, rendering it perfect for covering a large ground every day.
The use of Alpha Plus Paste formula helps to extend the time between charges. So with T875, you’re least likely to ever run out of power mid-traversing. However, not everything is hunky-dory with these mega-powerful batteries.
Like all wet cell lead-acid batteries, they also require constant upkeep to prevent acid buildup on cables. Plus, it’s also one of the heaviest Trojan batteries around. This not only affects the load capacity of the cart but also makes transferring the batteries from one cart to another a tedious process. So why is it still so great?
The thick lead plates inside the batteries can easily handle repeated deep discharging while delivering peak power. Those who know how batteries work will know that it’s not something every deep-cycle battery can do.
- Ideal for heavy-duty application.
- Peak power output even after repeated deep discharge.
- Extended runtime due to Alpha Plus Paste formula.
- Can survive the challenges of extreme weather and bumpy terrains.
- Quite heavy.
- Requires frequent maintenance to prevent acid buildup on the exterior.
Up next, we have this 200 Ah sealed AGM battery designed with a robust ABS plastic material, making the batteries impeccably resistant to shock and vibrations. Weighing 62.4 pounds, the lightweight batteries can rapidly reach higher speeds and carry more weight without any hiccups.
The electrolyte of these batteries is securely locked in a fiberglass mat, which eliminates the potential hazard of fume leakage. You can safely mount these spill-proof batteries in any position you want and its shatter-proof and corrosion-resistant body makes it sturdy enough for bumpy terrains and unfavorable weather conditions.
Like all high-capacity golf cart batteries, these ones too have a low discharge rate, thanks to the low amount of antimony content of the lead alloy plates inside the batteries.
A low-discharge rate will make sure there’s no significant capacity loss even if you store them for several years. Sealed batteries like these are practically maintenance-free. Moreover, you won’t need a special charger for these batteries and
- Spill-proof and impact-resistant, suitable for rough-terrain use.
- Can carry more weight without slowing down the buggy.
- Excellent shelf life due to the low discharge rate.
- Doesn’t need a special charger.
- Frequently discharging below 50% depth of discharge can cause significant damage to the batteries.
These high-capacity AGM lead-acid batteries are ideal for powering Club Car golf carts as well as RVs. It is a stand by or float use battery. It comprises three 2.1v thicker-than-average cell plates, which means bigger space per cell, hence higher current output.
These 6V AGM batteries can withstand deeper discharge cycles than regular 12V deep-cycle flooded batteries. You can mount them in any position and safely discharge them up to 80% DoD on a daily basis without affecting their cycle life.
The float service lifespan of these batteries is 8-10 years, making them a terrific bang for the buck. VMax houses extra heavy-duty low antimony spine grids provide solid protection against corrosion and accidental over-discharging, consequently increasing the battery’s cycle life.
The low antimony content also minimizes water evaporation during charging and discharging which reduces electrolyte loss. This also helps to prolong the battery life by and prevent performance decline. You can charge these batteries using both a solar charger or a smart AGM/gel battery charger.
- Can provide higher amp than 12v batteries.
- Highly resistant to corrosion.
- Lightning-fast charging.
- Handles lower temperatures exceptionally well.
- Rated for 80% depth of discharge.
- Constant current constant voltage battery chargers can be harmful for these batteries. I’d suggest using an AGM smart charger instead.
If you want to keep the environmental impact of your golf cart batteries to a minimum, lithium-ion batteries would be the way to go. These days, upscale brands like Yamaha, Club Car, and E-Z-Go have been manufacturing li-ion powered carts. The batteries can store a massive amount of energy, making it ideal for long trips on hilly terrains.
Renogy 12V golf cart batteries provide 2000 cycles before dying out while even the most premium lead-acid batteries give up after 1000 cycles or so, thanks to the extremely low discharge rate. It also charges noticeably faster than any lead-acid golf batteries I have seen.
You can replace two 100 Ah lead-acid batteries with this 170 Ah li-ion battery to gear up your golf cart’s performance. I’d suggest getting a solar panel battery charger for this if you want to experience the true fasting charging experience of these batteries. Otherwise, an 80 amp 12v will also work.
- Ideal for constant heavy-duty usage.
- Extremely fast charging.
- More eco-friendly than lead-acid batteries.
- Small size and lightweight.
- Very low discharge rate prolongs battery life.
Speaking of phenomenally high-capacity lithium-ion golf cart batteries, let’s not leave Lifepo4 out of the equation. Available in 100 Ah to 400 Ah capacity, these premium batteries offer rapid charging and reasonably long time between charges.
The USP of the batteries, however, is the built-in BMS (Battery Management System) circuit board which prevents potential hazards of over-discharge, over-charge, overheating, and short-circuit.
The unit comes in a stainless steel case which speaks volumes about the build quality. The beauty of such high-quality stainless steel is that you get a humongous capacity at about half the size and weight of a similar-capacity wet cell battery.
You can use it for powering your motorhome, a small fridge, water heater, and pretty much every rechargeable device around the house. It would make a great investment for regular long trips around the golf course as well as moderate off-the-grid applications.
- Charges very fast and the charge lasts for days.
- Lightweight and compact size despite such massive power.
- Zero upkeep.
- built-in BMS to prevent short-circuit, over-discharging, or overheating during discharge.
- Well-suited for off-the-grid applications as well.
- Quite pricey.
These marine AGM batteries are perfectly alright to use in E-z-Go golf carts. Just remember that you will have to hook two of them up in series to produce 12 volts. The electrolyte is fixed in an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) case, so no worries about leaking batteries while navigating bumpy terrains.
The sturdy batteries also handle extreme weather very well. You can use it in areas where the temperature can go as low as -50 degrees F. The AGM technology keeps the internal temperature of the batteries from going overboard during the charging and discharging cycles.
The infallible combination of slow discharge and fast charging will pack enough fuel for multiple 18-holes games per day.
- Holds up well to freezing temperatures.
- Stores enough energy to power golf caddy cart for several rounds of golf
- Rapid charging and low discharge.
- Sealed, hence requires no maintenance.
- Quite heavy.
- The price is on the higher side.
At the amperage output of 220 Ah @20 hours, these marine AGM batteries are a powerhouse for 48v golf carts. Although you can discharge it to 80% DoD and still have 750 cycles, limiting the discharge to 50% DoD as you can fetch you about a1000 cycles (about 2.5-3 years of battery life).
Another standout feature is the low discharge rate. It discharges at a rate of 2% which helps to expand the batteries’ operational life. It’s a sealed unit, so there are no free-flowing liquids that can potentially leak when charging.
Lifeline batteries are used for powering US Military vehicles, so quality issues should be the least of your concern anyway. Overall, these would be a great, albeit costly, alternative to flooded lead-acid batteries for users traversing a huge area every day.
- Quality approved by the US Coast Guard.
- Packs enough punch for powering through rigorous daily use.
- Spill-proof and high-charge efficiency design.
- Sturdy casing.
- Discharges at a rate of 2%.
Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Golf Cart Batteries
The important things to keep in mind while choosing golf-cart batteries is their battery life, voltage, amperage, and battery systems, and last but not the least, the battery price.
Let’s look at each one by one.
A. Battery Life:
The battery life will depend on:
- Battery type.
- Your usage.
1. Battery Type
There are two types of golf-cart batteries: lead-acid and lithium-ion.
They give vastly different recharge cycles (one recharge cycle equals one complete recharge and usage before it is low on battery and needs to be recharged again). This in turn gives different battery life for each type.
i. Deep Cycle Lead-acid Batteries
a. What are they?
In general, they use sulfuric acid and water mixture as electrolytes, with lead plates as electrodes. According to its build quality, lead-acid batteries are of 3 types.
Flooded Lead-acid Batteries:
In the first type, the sulphuric acid and water are not separated from the lead plates, and these are called the flooded, or wet lead-acid batteries. These can be opened–water needs to be added periodically for regenerating lost electrolytes.
Gel Lead-acid Batteries
The second is gel lead-acid batteries. In this, a thickening agent is used to separate electrolytes, giving it its name. These are sealed batteries, and can withstand more wear and tear than the flooded types.
AGM Lead-acid Batteries
Lastly, the AGM lead-acid batteries. In these, the electrolytes are cordoned off with fiberglass. They are better and more durable than any of the other types. If you have more rugged paths to cover, this is the lead-acid type that you should go for
b. Recharge Cycles and Usage
Lead-acid batteries are the most common types found in golf-carts. It is easy to see their appeal: they cost about a fifth of the other type’s price!
They can give up to 1000 recharge cycles if you are very careful with them. By careful, we mean don’t discharge them more than 50%.
But that is the ideal case.
In practice, you can and most probably will discharge them down to 20%. With this usage, you will still squeeze around 650 recharge cycles out of it.
Keep in mind that you should not discharge them beyond 20%.
This is important to remember because in practice, you might discharge them below 20%. But this is not recommended for its battery life.
You have to make sure the lead-acid battery is recharged before it drops below 20%. This effectively gets you 80% of its battery in each recharge cycle.
If you let it go below 20%, and this builds up over time, the battery life can go as low as 450 recharge cycles.
Also, there comes a time when the lead-acid battery is coated with oxidants. To avoid this, you will have to clean it regularly. Otherwise, pretty soon corrosion would set in.
Instead of the 10 years you hope to get out of your lead-acid, you may have to deal with replacement in 4-5 years if your battery isn’t cleaned regularly.
This is why the lead-acid batteries are said to be high-maintenance.
- Many times cheaper compared to lithium-ion.
- More commonly found, and used reliably.
- Less risk of explosion.
- Higher maintenance.
- Heavier battery
- Lesser battery life
Ii. Lithium-ion batteries
a. What are they?
They are a rechargeable type of batteries that make use of lithium-ions moving between negative and positive electrodes.
The movement from the positive electrode to the negative occurs while charging and the reverse movement occurs while the battery is being used.
b. Recharge cycles and Usage
Lithium-ion batteries are the perfect solution for the high maintenance of lead-acid batteries.
Lithium-ion can be discharged completely, which means that every time you charge it, you get 100% out of the battery.
Also, the best number of recharge cycles out of lithium-ion is almost 3 times the best number from lead-acid. You get about 2000-3000 recharge cycles out of lithium-ion batteries!
And most of these batteries are temperature controlled, making sure that temperature fluctuations will not cause it to discharge. This also contributes to the battery life, for a stable battery means a long-lasting battery.
Adding to this is the benefit of faster recharge. They charge about 80% faster than lead acids, so you can be on your way to your next win that much more quickly.
Is there a con for the lithium-ion? Well, they are costly. You could probably buy five lead-acid batteries for every lithium-ion.
- Longer battery life
- Fast charging
- High power batteries
- Lighter battery
- Low maintenance
- Rather expensive
- Higher risk of explosion
So what, ultimately, decides whether you should use lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries?
The choice is more of a personal preference than anything else. If you are a careful person with low use for your golf-cart, lead-acids will suit you better. If higher use and less maintenance is your MO, then you may choose lithium-ion for your golf cart.
Are they interchangeable? Nope.
But if your cart comes with one or the other type of batteries, in most cases you can exchange the types. Note that this will first need an installation. After that, you can use your preferred type of battery in your golf cart.
2. Your Usage
Now, onto what influences battery life according to your usage:
- How often you use them and for how long each time
- The length of your golf course
- How fast you go each time (discharges faster at higher speeds)
- Maintenance of your battery when it comes to lead-acid
- Fluctuations in temperature affecting discharge
The other key factors to consider would be:
Volt indicates the power of your batteries. The higher the voltage, the higher the power and acceleration.
The standard golf-carts range between 36 volts and 48 volts.
The batteries are of 3 voltages: 6V, 8V, and 12V.
You need to use the ideal combinations of same voltage batteries to fill up the voltage requirement of your golf cart.
Amperage can be understood as what determines the mileage. The higher the amperage, the farther you can go.
Standard golf-cart batteries can offer up to 35 miles, with an amperage of 1800 amp.
Amperage can be different according to the voltage combination that you use. This is where battery systems come in.
D. Battery Systems
This is the arrangement of batteries in your golf cart.
In the 1800 amps example given above, the golf cart needed 48 Volts. This requirement can be filled up using–
- 4 batteries of 12V giving 600 amps OR
- 6 batteries of 8V giving 1800 amps
This means three things:
- In order to fill up the same voltage requirement, different combinations of batteries can be used.
- According to the combination, the amperage will differ.
- The speed and acceleration in both instances remain the same.
Therefore, you can buy a 48-volt golf-cart and get more miles out of it using the ideal combination of batteries.
This is why it is important to look at amperages when you choose golf-cart batteries.
E. Cycle Depth
The number of deep cycles a battery can go through should be another key deciding factor. Higher depth of discharge enables the battery to run long cycles of continuous charging and discharging cycles. To put it simply, better depth of cycle is equal to higher battery capacity. All deep-cycle batteries have high-density lead plates and added reinforcements to support deeper cycles and minimize damage to the battery life.
As mentioned before, lead-acid batteries cost considerably less than their lithium-ion counterparts. Their price also differs in terms of voltage, so the lower voltages cost less than the higher voltages.
Lithium-ion batteries can cost anywhere between 2-5 times more than the lead-acid batteries. This huge price difference is what makes the lithium-ion less appealing to most, but there is a reason for this.
Lithium-ion batteries usually have better amperage. Think of it as having a larger fuel tank. For the prices, it really does store that much more miles in it.
How to Figure Out If You Need New Golf Cart Batteries?
Some signs tell you that it is time to replace your golf-cart battery. Then there are some tests with which to determine whether your battery is declining.
Let’s look at the signs and the tests here.
i. Golf-cart needs to wake up before it gets going-
The starting troubles in a golf-cart, like in any automobile, can also be caused by problems in the starter plug.
But more often than not, it is because the battery can’t muster that much power as easily as it used to.
Whether it is really a problem with the battery can be tested easily. Check whether you get the acceleration and power that you used to get when the battery was still new.
If your golf-cart is panting up the hill that it used to glide over, it is a clear sign that the batteries need replacing.
ii. The battery takes more and more time for a full charge
Given that your charger is in peak condition, and your charges are getting longer, it might indicate that your battery is nearing its expiry.
Along with this, you can note down the rate of its discharge. If the rate is radically different from what it used to be, then you may start looking for replacement batteries.
iii. You are getting less mileage
This is another way of looking at a rapid discharge. The number of miles that your golf-cart can cover drastically decreases.
If your mileage is not the same as what it used to be, it would require you to recharge the batteries more frequently.
Not only that, but you would also have no idea how long it might last with each recharge.
The resulting awkwardness might be easily avoided if you are mindful of these changes, and replace the batteries at the proper time.
iv. Physical damage to the batteries
If you feel any of the other signs above, it is time to look for visual clues to battery damage. Often, these clues manifest as abnormal bulges in the battery or cracks on the surface.
Through the cracks in a lead-acid battery, the acid can leak out. This is a dangerous situation. You will have to make sure that the battery is replaced immediately before the golf-cart can be used again.
But be very careful–if the acid solution makes contact with your skin, it will burn. So wear gloves whenever you are handling a damaged battery.
There may also be corrosion along the sides or at the top. In such cases, you can clean it and use it again.
But if it persists, along with the performance decline, you may need to replace the battery.
There are a couple of tests that you can do to make sure that your batteries are performing optimally.
Now there is no absolute need for you to make sure that your batteries are optimal.
But if you do, you can detect the early signs and rectify them before it gets worse.
1. Voltmeter Test:
This can be used for both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries.
For this, first set the voltmeter to DC. Then you need to connect the battery’s positive and negative terminals to the corresponding leads of the voltmeter.
The resulting reading will show whether the voltage is the same as when the battery was new.
2. Hydrometer Test:
This one is specifically for lead-acid batteries.
The hydrometer measures the specific gravity inside a battery cell. This will show whether the electrolyte inside is charged or discharged.
Why is this important?
If you know how much charge is left, you can determine whether or not to charge it before heavy use.
This will also come in handy if your battery is nearing the end of its life: the hours you expect from your charged battery may become different, due to unpredictable recharge cycles near its end.
Before testing, make sure you wear protective gear, like goggles and rubber gloves.
There will be a cap for each cell of your battery. Inside, there will be an electrolyte solution, which is acidic in the case of lead-acid.
The most common hydrometer is the squeeze-bulb hydrometer. Using the squeeze bulb, some of the electrolytes inside the cell are sucked into the hydrometer.
The float inside the hydrometer will tell you the specific gravity inside that particular battery cell and you can adjust the electrolyte balance as needed.
This will ensure optimal performance and longer battery life.
How to Clean Golf Cart Batteries?
It is important to know how to clean the battery because cleaning increases its life. And when we talk about cleaning your golf-cart battery, we are mainly talking about the lead-acid type.
Lithium-ion batteries are corrosion-free, so you don’t have to clean it as often.
And cleaning lead-acid batteries is not expensive, even if it is a bit time-consuming.
Before beginning to clean, though, you need to gear up a bit.
Since you are dealing with batteries full of acid, it is not too much if we ask you to wear (at least) a pair of rubber gloves and goggles.
That way you are protected against any risk involving acid spillage (these risks are not to be taken lightly, for there are known cases of overheated batteries exploding).
Another thing to do is keeping running water within arm’s reach in case of an explosion or acid-spillage.
Now onto the cleaning part: the cleaning solution is your common baking soda in water. You also need a low-pressure sprayer and a hard-bristled paintbrush, to remove dust and corrosion. That’s it.
Here is how to clean a lead-acid battery:
- Once you have geared up and carefully taken the battery out, check for corrosions at the top and the side.
- You may very well see a caking of dust and mud–this is what you are primarily going to remove.
- Mix baking soda and water, and lightly spray the mixture on top of the dust and corrosion. Always use a low-pressure spray.
- You may also spray it on the wiring, the top and the sides of the battery.
- Wait for a few minutes and apply it again if the water has evaporated.
- Then, with a damp paintbrush, you may begin scrubbing and cleaning the corrosion and dust away.
- After making sure that the battery plugs are tight, you can use a low-pressure water-hose to clean the dirt from the top of the battery.
- Make sure that there is no residual corrosion. If there is, apply the baking soda mixture again and scrub.
- Run the water over it again, and you are done!
And now, you have a clean battery.
So that was my take on the best golf cart batteries worth checking out. The goal of this article isn’t just to help you pick the right product but to also teach you a thing or two about golf cart batteries so that you can make a calculated decision.
If you’ve skipped the part where I explain the nitty-gritty of lithium and lead-acid batteries, required volt, battery testing, cycle depth, do make sure to go over those parts before finalizing your purchase. Buying quality golf cart batteries is all about knowing how this stuff works and that’s exactly what I’m here for.