Electric golf carts are powered by a bank of standard, rechargeable lead-acid batteries. Typical power amounts are 36 or 48 volts, although lower and higher voltages are also available. They are designed so that the battery should run all day if properly charged the night before, meaning that golfers should be easily able to complete a round without concern of power failure.
Electric cart batteries are relatively simple to recharge, requiring only to be plugged into a typical electrical outlet. For best results, most carts should be allowed to recharge overnight to allow for a full charge. Carts with other recharging methods are also available, such as ones that recharge as they are driven, whenever the brakes are applied. These carts are particularly beneficial as public golf course rentals that undergo frequent use.
The most important maintenance function lies with the battery, which can cost $500 or more to replace. The proper level of water needs to be maintained and should be checked once a month on average. The battery should be kept as fully charged as possible to help ensure a longer life, as long as five to six years in many cases.
As opposed to gas-operated golf carts, electric carts can be much cheaper to operate since they require recharging instead of refueling. They are more environmentally friendly since they do not emit carbons into the atmosphere, which also means they can be operated indoors if necessary.
A disadvantage of electric golf carts is that they can be more expensive to purchase, although this can be offset by fuel savings. They may also be a bit more difficult to operate in rougher terrain than gas vehicles. Additionally, if the owner or golf course operator does not remember to recharge a cart the previous evening, it may be out of commission the next day.