|Are you thinking of switching from lead-acid to lithium for your golf cart? You may be curious how these batteries compare and why one would be better than the other. In this week’s blog, we dive into battery history and cover the benefits of using lithium and the things you should consider when buying them. Then, we’ll outline some of the Best Lithium Golf Cart Batteries currently available on the market.
Advancements in Lead-Acid Battery Technology
The lead-acid batteries used in golf carts have become standardized in terms of form, fit and function and there are a few options in terms of capacity which directly relates to mileage range. There are even watering systems integrated in the battery caps that reduce the labor associated with adding water to your traditional lead-acid batteries. There are sealed lead-acid batteries, such as Gel and AGM, available for golf cars, that eliminate the need to add water, but they have not been widely accepted due to some of their performance limitations.
Not to diminish the mighty lead-acid battery and all it has provided, but the reality is, the advancements have been somewhat underwhelming over the years.
What are the Advantages of Lithium Batteries for Golf Carts?
Constant power – Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries operate at full power throughout discharge, even when they are at less than 5%. Low battery won’t result in sluggish performance.
Lightweight – Lithium batteries are 50-60% lighter than their lead-acid equivalents. This makes them significantly easier to install. Plus, it increases your golf cart’s weight-to-performance ratio, enabling you to reach higher speeds with less effort.
Fast charging – Lithium batteries can be fully charged within 1-3 hours. This is a vast improvement over lead-acid batteries, which can take over 8 hours to fully charge.
Maintenance-free – No water needed, and no cleaning of acid residue required. Just charge them up, and they’re ready to go.
Safety – Most lithium batteries utilize Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), a chemistry that is inherently safe. In addition, Battery Management Systems (BMS) have been developed in order to regulate heat, eliminating the risk of overcharging and overheating.
Long-life – Lithium batteries have up to a 10x longer life cycle than lead-acid batteries.
Long shelf life – Lithium batteries have a very low rate of self-discharge, meaning they maintain a state of charge for longer when not being used.
Eco-friendly – Due to their lower charge times, and the fact that they contain less hazardous materials, lithium batteries are far better for the environment than lead-acid batteries.
Things to Consider When Buying a Lithium Battery for Your Golf Cart
Before you confirm a purchase, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the battery that’s right for you by taking the following into consideration.
Measured in Ah (ampere-hours), a battery’s capacity is the amount of power it can discharge in a single-use. In other words, it’s how long the battery will last before it needs recharging. Pretty much all lithium batteries will easily cover you for 18 holes of golf. Some batteries, with an AH of around 100, can run for as long as 36 holes.
Voltage is basically the amount of electrical power that your lithium battery holds. 24v is a fairly standard amount of voltage for lithium golf cart batteries.
It’s essential to check the dimensions of your golf cart battery holder before you purchase a new battery. If you choose a battery that is larger than your holder, you will have a lot of difficulty keeping it secure. If you cross-reference the dimensions of your cart holder against the size of the battery, you can ensure your new lithium battery will be a good fit.
Most lithium batteries are roughly (W)160mm x (L)250mm x (H)200mm. Batteries with larger capacity tend to be slightly bigger. However, generally speaking, lithium batteries are nice and compact; they’re a good fit for most modern golf carts.
Most lithium batteries weigh between 10 and 20 kg – a fraction of the weight of your average lead-acid battery. By using a lithium battery, your weight-to-performance ratio will be greatly increased. However, you should be aware that higher-capacity lithium batteries are slightly heavier than standard.
The charge cycle lifespan is basically the number of times a lithium battery can be charged before it packs in. When looking for a lithium battery, you should expect a lifespan of no less than 1500 cycles. If you were to play one round of golf every day, these batteries should last for 4-5 years. Some lithium batteries have a cycle lifespan of up to 8000 cycles and can last as long as 10 years.
Converting your Golf Cart to Lithium Ion
If you think that changing over from traditional to lithium ion is difficult, you’re wrong, it’s actually super easy. All you have to do is pull out your old crusty batteries, drop in your new 12 volt Lithium Ion batteries, reconnect your wires, secure the batteries down, and you’re good to go.
Lithium Ion batteries also tend to be smaller than traditional Lead Acid, so you may find yourself with some extra room under the seats.
Are Lithium Ion Batteries for Golf Carts Expensive?
There is no way around this so i’m just going to say it. Lithium Ion Batteries are expensive. A lot more expensive? Well not that much more…
A standard pack of lithium ion batteries is going to cost you anywhere between $1,100 and $3,000. Sure this may seem like a lot, but honestly, it’s worth the money. These batteries are going to last you a lot longer, take less time to charge, and reduce the weight of your cart.
The Top Lithium Ion Batteries for your Golf Cart
There are a variety of major companies making quality lithium batteries for golf carts. It can be hard to choose from this huge selection, so we wanted to make things a little easier on you.
Advancements in Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Technology with BSLBATT Battery
Though Lithium batteries solved many shortcomings of lead-acid battery technology, it also created new challenges. Lithium batteries have created safety concerns due to high heat generation, they include a Battery Management System (BMS) to protect the battery but it can also cause undesirable power losses and they can be complicated to use. At BSLBATT, we decided to design a product from the ground up and eliminate all of the obstacles. The result is BSLBATT’s 48V lithium golf cart battery!
Interested in upgrading your golf cart, PTV, UTV or LSV to lithium? Check out our BSLBATT lithium golf cart battery and contact online today. If you have any questions regarding lithium-ion batteries, or you have experience using a lithium ion battery in your golf cart, let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading
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