36 Volt VS. 48 Volt

Voltage pushes electric charges through wires, and also through an electrical resistance, which heats up the resistive object.  The flow of the charges is measured in amperes, the flow of electrical energy into the resistive object and heat output is measured in watts, and the resistance is measured in ohms.  Amperes and Watts are two different kinds of flow, yet both happen in circuits.

Bottom line: comparing voltages is sort of like comparing gasolines -

Is premium gas "better" than regular gas?

And the answer is - depends on what the engine of the car was designed to run on.  So if sales folk try to say 48-volts are 'better" than 36-volts, they are counting on the fact that you may have no idea on how electricity does what it does....

Determining how many volts your golf cart uses is as easy as counting the water fill caps on the batteries.  Lifting up your golf cart's seat reveals the battery compartment.  If you have 6-6 volt batteries, your golf cart is a 36 volt cart.  If you have 6-8 volt batteries, your golf cart is a 48 volt cart, and if you have 4-12 volt batteries, your golf cart is a 48 volt cart.  Gas golf carts utilize one 12 volt battery.

Although horsepower of the gasoline golf cars are similar, they vary greatly in engine life.  E-Z-Go four cycle has an engine life of 1250 hours, Yamaha four cycle 2500 hours and Club Car Cycle 4250 hours.  Electric golf cart motors on the other hand have a life span of anywhere from 5000 to 8000 hours and then can be rebuilt for 25% of the cost of a gas golf car engine.  Electric motors for golf carts, however, are very similar, regardless of brand.  Power and speed is regulated by the amount of current in amps that  goes to the motor and gear ratios of the drive train.  However the 48 volt golf carts uses one third less amperage than the 36 volt system and more efficient.  Unlike your automobile, there is no transmission or clutches in an electric golf cart.  A 2-3 horsepower motor can produce 10-12 horsepower for short durations of time and can easily move a 5000 pound trailer.


The age of  a golf cart has a little to do with its value.  Unlike your automobile, a well maintained 10 year old golf cart can have as much or more value as poorly maintained 5 year old golf cart.  The condition of the body, frame, top, batteries, and the charger are the key areas of concern when determining the value of a used golf cart.


Each battery has a stamp which indicates the month and year it was manufactured.  If you cannot clearly read the stamp there is no way of determining its the age.  Batteries last from 3 to 8 years under normal circumstances.  The maintenance of the battery water to one half inch over the plates is the ideal level.  The amount of charging cycles also determines the life of of a battery.  Each time the batteries are charged equals one cycle.