Gas Vs Electric Golf Cart: Which One to Choose?

When purchasing a new golf cart, one of the first questions that will come to mind is whether you want an electric vs. gas cart

Gas carts have a tremendous range and impressive hauling power, plus they can handle hilly areas where acceleration is a must. 

On the other hand, an electric cart is so simple to maintain and easy to customize. 

With benefits on both sides, your next question might be: how do I break the tie? Thankfully, we’re here to break down the entire gas vs electric golf cart debate to help you find the best cart for your needs. 

Gas vs. Electric Golf Carts

When comparing gas vs. electric golf carts, there is no winner. When purchasing a gas or electric golf cart, you have to look at factors like performance, hauling power, energy efficiency, and even HOA (homeowners association) and community regulations. 

AspectGas Golf CartsElectric Golf Carts
PerformanceHigher top speeds, longer duration.Quick acceleration, lower top speed.
AccelerationSlower start, higher horsepower.Fast start, immediate torque.
Hauling PowerIdeal for heavy loads & hilly terrains.Less power for heavy loads.
Noise LevelsQuieter models are available but are still generally noisier.Near-silent operation.
Purchase PriceHigher initial cost, longer lifespan.Lower initial cost, costly battery replacement.
MaintenanceRequires more maintenance.Fewer mechanical parts, lower ongoing costs.
Resale ValueBetter resale value for name brands.Improved with lithium batteries.
Environmental ImpactEmits pollutants, translating to a higher carbon footprint.Zero emissions, environmentally friendly.
Energy EfficiencyLess efficient: Uses gasolineMore efficient: Uses electricity.
RangeLonger range on a single tank.Limited range, long recharge time.
Street LegalitySafety modifications needed for street use.Regulations vary and are often easier to modify for legality.

Performance Comparison

If consistency is important to you, electric golf carts have the advantage due to the instant torque provided by their motors.

Gas carts, however, can achieve higher top speeds and maintain them for longer durations thanks to their heavier engines.

Acceleration and Agility Comparison

Electric carts: Thanks to immediate torque from electric motors, electric carts offer instant power and rapid acceleration, making them highly responsive on the course and on the road.

Gas carts: Deliver higher horsepower, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks and hauling over extensive properties.

Hauling and Horsepower Comparison

Electric carts: These aren’t typically used for hauling, as they don’t offer the same horsepower. Electric carts have around 3 to 5 HP, whereas gas has 10 to 15 HP. 

Gas carts: Gas golf carts offer more horsepower than their electric counterparts, making them better equipped for driving in hilly terrains or hauling heavy loads. Gasoline golf carts function similarly to small cars, using an engine that runs on gasoline to power the cart. 

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Noise levels: Gas vs. Electric

Electric carts: Electric undoubtedly takes the lead when it comes to quiet operation. While gas-powered golf carts have gotten quieter with advancements in technology, they still can’t compete with the whisper-quiet ride of electric carts.

Gas carts: Even when gas carts aren’t in motion, their engines can still be a source of noise. The latest models now often have engines that shut off when idle, reducing their overall noise impact. Keep this in mind if you live in a strict HOA. 

Costs Comparison

Cost doesn’t only refer to the initial purchase price; maintenance costs and resale value also play a part in the financial equation. Gas and electric golf carts share so many features in common that they often have similar starting prices. 

However, in the pre-owned market, used gas golf carts are usually cheaper than electric ones because of the fact that they don’t have expensive batteries that’ll need replacing every few years. 

Note that battery lifespan varies greatly between electric golf cart models. For instance, standard lead-acid batteries can last up to six years, AGM batteries up to seven years, and lithium batteries up to ten years. 

While these batteries can be costly to replace, opting for lithium batteries can improve the cart’s resale value due to their extended lifespan and warranty offerings.

Maintenance Costs: Electric vs. Gas

Electric golf carts also gain an edge in the area of maintenance costs–simply because they have fewer mechanical parts. However, the cost of replacing batteries can add up.

In contrast, gas golf carts necessitate routine maintenance such as oil changes and servicing of movable parts, escalating costs but not quite as significantly as the battery. 

Environmental Impact: Emissions and Efficiency Comparison

When it comes to emissions, electric golf carts are the better choice. They produce no emissions, offering a significant environmental advantage over gas-powered carts.

Conversely, gas golf carts produce carbon monoxide emissions and add to air pollution through gas fumes, which could be bothersome to some individuals (your neighbors included). 

In terms of energy efficiency, electric golf carts unquestionably outperform. Their battery packs, increasingly using lithium-ion batteries, result in a smaller carbon footprint due to the lack of direct pollution. 

Range Comparison

Refueling a gas golf cart can be completed quickly, similar to refueling a regular car, offering minimal interruption to usage time.

On the flip side, recharging an electric golf cart can take 8-14 hours from a completely discharged state, which can significantly affect the cart’s readiness for continuous use.

Gas-powered golf carts are known for their capability to cover long distances on a single tank, outpacing their electric counterparts. Some gas golf cart models can travel a remarkable distance of 100-200 miles on a single fill-up

So, if you’re planning a long journey on your golf cart, a gas model might be a better fit.

Legality and Street Usage: Electric Carts vs. Gas Carts

Beyond the golf course, you may wish to take your golf cart for a spin around town. But before you do, it’s important to understand the legality and street usage rules for golf carts.

Generally, modifications enhancing golf cart speeds up to 40 miles per hour can help attain street legality. Some states have adopted friendly regulations for Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs) to mitigate congestion and accommodate demographics, such as retirees, who frequently use golf carts.

Gas vs. Electric: Who Wins? 

If you are still undecided about whether a gas or electric golf cart better meets your needs, here are some general pros and cons to keep in mind. 

TypeProsCons
Electric Golf CartsQuiet operation, lower maintenance, environmentally friendly.Limited range, longer recharge times, costly battery replacements.
Gas Golf CartsLonger range, greater power for hauling, can navigate hilly terrains.Noisier operation, higher maintenance, emits pollutants.

Summary

Whether you are an avid golfer or thinking of starting a golf cart rental business, don’t forget to consider all of your golf cart options. Another thing to keep in mind is golf cart storage. That way, your cart has a safe home base when it’s not being used. 

An indoor storage unit will protect the golf cart from UV rays, rain, and dust. If you want to improve or maintain resale value, proper storage is imperative. 

Neighbor’s peer-to-peer storage marketplace is the perfect place to find affordable and local storage for your golf cart. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Pros and Cons of an Electric Golf Cart?

Electric golf carts are quiet and emission-free, with lower maintenance needs. However, they may not be as powerful and tend to be more expensive. Consider these factors when deciding on an electric golf cart.

How Long Will an Electric Golf Cart Last?

An electric golf cart typically lasts around 20 to 40 years, but this can vary based on maintenance and external factors.

Which One Is Better: A Gas or Electric Golf Cart?

Gas golf carts can go a long way and haul equipment, but they need to be refueled. Electric golf carts are clean and easy to run but don’t deliver as much power. 

How Many Miles Can a Gas-Powered Golf Cart Go?

A gas-powered golf cart can go up to 100-200 miles on a single tank of gas. 

What Is the Advantage of a Gas Golf Cart?

A gas golf cart has a longer range and greater power than an electric golf cart. In addition, when you are navigating hilly terrain, gas golf carts are the best choice. 

How Fast Do Gas Golf Carts Go?

Gas golf carts tend to reach speeds of 15 to 25 mph. Modifications can be made to increase the speed of a gas golf cart. 

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