Lead Acid vs. Lithium Golf Cart Batteries

Published May 1, 2020
Lead Acid vs. Lithium Golf Cart Batteries

So what makes Lithium Ion Golf Cart Batteries better than traditional batteries?

Lithium Ion Golf Cart Batteries are changing the golf cart world for the better. We’re breaking down what makes them so great, and why you should spend a little bit extra to get a set for your golf cart.

Here at Sundance we have been testing and installing several different types of lithium batteries over the last three years. Here is what we learned over our years of testing!

So why convert to lithium? What makes Lithium batteries so much better for use with golf carts than traditional lead-acid batteries that have been used for decades? We will explain why in this short article, and by the end of it you will be teaching (and converting) all of your fellow golf cart buddies to lithium batteries!

Here’s a few reasons:

  1. They require no maintenance (no adding water, cleaning corrosion, or checking acid levels)
  2. They are dummy proof.
  3. Full Charge in 2-4 hours (vs. 8-10hrs for traditional Lead-Acid batteries)
  4. They last longer (depending on brand, 7-10 years)
  5. They weigh less (reduce battery weight of your cart by 300lbs = more efficient cart)
  6. Lithium-Ion batteries do not lose power as voltage dips (they don’t get ‘tired’ as they are used)
  7. They are cheaper over time.
1. They Require ZERO Maintenance

This is our personal favorite reason for converting to lithium. Gone are the days of dealing with battery mess and corrosion! This is a HUGE selling point for those who use their golf cart commercially (hotels, concert venues, etc.) and for people who do not have the time to always be checking on batteries. The switch to lithium means you no longer have to maintain your golf cart batteries. Just charge them, and go!

2. DUMMY Proof.

Let’s be real. If you’re not familiar with golf carts or batteries, it can seem pretty overwhelming to understand. There are quite a few techniques you must understand if your cart has the traditional lead acid batteries. However with Lithium, you literally do not have to think. Along with no maintenance, the battery pack we use is specifically designed to work with the electrical system of our carts.

Please note, home made systems and most other manufactures don’t have a BMS( battery management system ) that communicates with the golf carts controller preventing overcharge or over discharge (draining the battery). This is why we work with a type of lithium specifically for our golf carts.
Another thing to note in regards to maintenance is what happens to your electric cart when you are not using it? When you don’t use your traditional Lead-Acid golf cart batteries for 1-month, they will lose up to 33% of their charge (substantial)! Meaning if your cart were to sit for just a few months, it would not work when you went to use it again.

Lithium batteries on the other hand will only lose 2-3% of their charge per month when not being used. Meaning your cart could sit for an entire year and still have 75% of its battery left.

3. Charges FAST.

No need to wait 8-10 hours for your cart to charge completely to take it back out again. Our lithium batteries charge in 2-4 hours from dead to 100%. Also, charge the cart as many times as you’d like. Unlike lead acid, it is not going to harm the battery if the cart is being charged multiple times a day.

4. The lifespan is much longer

Traditional lead acid batteries will last you several years, heavily depending on use and how well you take care of your batteries. The lithium battery we use will last you 7-10 years. The company that builds our batteries have been in testing since 2008. The batteries have a lifespan of about 3,000 cycles.

5. They weigh less.

Converting to lithium batteries will lessen the load of the cart making the cart even more efficient! Standard lead acid batteries weigh between 340 lbs to 390 lbs. Lithium weighs anywhere between 60 to 140 lbs depending on amperage hour.

6. Lithium Ion uses 100% of the power 100% of the time.

Lithium-Ion batteries do not lose power as voltage dips (they don’t get ‘tired’ as they are used). Unlike the traditional lead acid batteries that tend to lose power the more the cart is driven. You’ll have full speed 100% of the time until your battery is drained.
Lead acid batteries only have 50% of usable power. lithium batteries have 100% of usable power meaning a much longer range!

7. They are cheaper overtime.

YES! You’ve read that correct. We have done the math so you don’t have to! If you factor in the cost of replacing batteries every 3-4 years and the cost of electricity (time is cut in half with lithium). Over the span of 10 years you will be paying more for lead acid batteries than lithium. Plus, what is it worth to you to have a battery that gives you no problems?

Questions & Answers

Is Lithium Ion Golf Cart Battery Conversion difficult on my cart?

No, it is usually quite simple depending on the type of drive system in the cart! The complete pack installs where the lead acid batteries were located. A couple of battery tub modifications, connect a few wires, and the cart is ready to go!

Should I make the switch to Lithium on my golf cart?

If you already need to replace your batteries, the short answer is: Yes, absolutely.
But if your current batteries are working fine, there is no urgent need to switch. But there are many benefits to making the switch; so we would suggest you weigh the benefits of lithium outlined above to decide if they are worth replacing your Lead-Acid batteries with.

Are lithium batteries safe?

Yes. LifePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) is one of the safest battery chemistry available! All of the batteries that we carry have a battery management system to detect any problems with the performance of the battery and shut down any cells not functioning properly. This battery management system will also protect the batteries from any overcharging or undercharging the batteries.