gas vs electric golf carts

Designing your own golf cart means you have plenty of decisions to make.

With thousands of carts hitting the green and streets each day, you want a cart that keeps up with the rest and still suits your needs.

The biggest decision you will make when custom designing a golf cart is gas or electric. Before assuming one is better than the other, you must look at what each option entails.

Facts about Gas and Electric Golf Carts

Gas operating carts use a traditional combustion engine. Most gas units come with four-cycle engines, but some operate with two-cycle engines. You fuel your gas cart with regular unleaded gasoline, and you can even drive your golf cart to the gas station for a refill.

Electric golf carts typically use a 38 or 48-volt battery cell to power the cart. You must charge your batteries regularly, which is why it is best to have more than one battery – so one is charging while the other is in the cart. Your battery determines your cart’s performance. Once the charge becomes too low, your speed and acceleration capabilities drop off.

The Benefits of a Gas-Powered Golf Cart

When you design your own golf cart and opt for the gas engine, you get faster speeds from your engine, and you can pull heavier loads.

If you are the type to ride with friends and family in tow, or notorious for carrying around multiple sets of clubs on the green, a gas-powered engine might be best.

A gas-powered cart is more likely to drive on the road because it has the speeds necessary to keep up with slow neighborhood traffic.

Reasons Gas-Powered Might Not Work

Custom-built carts are usually sold with gas engines. However, there are drawbacks to gas-powered too. Not only do you have the costs of fuel, but then higher maintenance costs.

The gas-powered unit will run out of gas, so you need to keep an eye on the meter. Also, you cannot warm the engine in an enclosed space, like a shed or garage. Doing so creates carbon monoxide emissions, which pose a threat.

The engine of your gas-powered cart is much louder than an electric too. If you have noise ordinances in the community, you might need the quieter option.

The Benefits of an Electric-Powered Golf Cart

Electric golf carts have no harmful emissions and are by far the eco-friendly choice. If you drive your cart frequently, you might want an environmentally friendly unit.

You might notice electric carts are cheaper, but that is because they are compensating for the inconvenience of charging the cart frequently. Most standard golf carts use an electric motor, but if you design your own, you can request an electric engine too.

What are the Drawbacks of Using an Electric Engine?

Electric golf carts are difficult to assess when you might run out of power. Typically, they slow in speed and performance, indicating it is time for a charge. However, most electric units do not have a meter on the dash showing charge levels.

If you are designing your golf cart, consider requesting a meter so you can better track recharging.

If your cart runs out of a charge and you are far from a charging station or your home, you might have to push or have the golf cart towed back to the charging port. Also, your battery might not remove easily for recharging (if at all).