Club Car golf carts have been around for nearly 60-years, producing a variety of battery-powered golf cars, utility, and personal use vehicles. As most owners of these vehicles know, proper battery maintenance is key to longevity and reliability, but eventually, the batteries will need to be replaced.
When it comes time to get a new set of deep-cycle batteries for your Club Car, it’s important to make sure you select the right ones for your particular application, and most importantly, the type of use it will see. Club Car’s battery specifications are different for the various model vehicles they produce. Most utilize a 48-volt electric engine but depending on the model, have different amperage and power requirements.
As an example, Club Car DS and Precedent models (2in1, 2Plus2, Cargo, Professional), XF (2in1, 2Plus2) and XF Cargo models take six BCI Group Size GC8 eight-volt batteries. Choosing the right one depends on if you use the vehicle daily or if it says in storage at your vacation home. For each of these types of scenarios, there are different battery ratings to choose from that might better match your usage needs. U.S. Battery’s US 8VGC XC2 (with a 20-hour rate of 170) is a great choice for those who want a longer-lasting battery for this application. The US 8VGCE XC2 (with a 20-hour rate of 155) offers less overall runtime for applications where the vehicle won’t be used daily, offering a more cost-effective solution.
Club Car Precedent Champion models also use a 48-volt system but utilize four BCI Group Size GC12, 12-volt batteries. U.S. Battery’s 12VRX XC2 (20-hour rate of 155) provides a great compromise between daily and occasional use.
Proper Maintenance Makes The Difference
To get the most performance from your new battery, you must develop a regular maintenance schedule that consists of:
1. Checking and replenishing the electrolyte levels. Installing a BWT or Flow-Rite single-point-watering kit can make this an easy and quick process.
2. Performing an equalization charge
3. Checking and Cleaning battery terminals and connections
4. Performing an opportunity charge when possible
For a full list of proper Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance procedures please see our page or download our Care & Maintenance brochure.
U.S. Battery Deep Cycle batteries are handcrafted in the U.S.A. The batteries also feature our exclusive XC2 formulation that gives them the highest initial capacity, fastest cycle-up time to full-rated capacity, improved recharge-ability, and the highest total energy delivered than any battery in their class. For a complete list of Flooded Lead-Acid or AGM batteries for golf cars and utility vehicles visit U.S. Battery’s Golf and Utility Vehicle Battery page to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.
Chan Hunt, the owner of OC Monster Carts in Southern California, is a custom golf car shop that has tried numerous golf car batteries over the years, but ultimately switched to using U.S. Battery products exclusively. “We meet out customer’s needs and always exceed them when it comes to personalization and registered street-legal vehicles,” says Hunt. “We’ve had some warranty issues with other battery companies that became significant. When we chose U.S. Battery, they exceeded our expectations and are more reliable and user-friendly.”
Hunt realizes that not all golf car customers take care of their golf-car batteries as well as they should, but after seeing OE golf cars come in equipped with U.S. Battery products, Chan says that it helped convince him that it was the right choice for his customers. “One of the greatest things for us and our customers is to have the peace of mind that we can present them a product that they can drive off and us not have to worry about it.”
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Nobody likes having to replace a set of 6-volt or 8-volt golf cart batteries every few years, especially if you think you’ve maintained them by frequently charging and watering. So what went wrong? There’s more to making your batteries last longer than simple routine maintenance. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President/Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, there are three key factors that maximize battery life.
The first is starting with a better battery. If you’ve always shopped for the less expensive battery, you’re sacrificing capacity and extended operation. Premium batteries cost a little more initially, but simply put, they have more lead plates and better internal construction. This is one of the major factors in battery longevity and with the benefit of greater capacity for longer run times between charging.
A better battery will also help with the second factor towards extending battery life, which is the amount of discharge placed on the batteries. Battery manufacturers recommend limiting the discharge rate to 50-percent for optimum battery cycle life. A 50-percent Depth Of Discharge (DOD), can be determined by first applying a full charge to the batteries, and the run time increases, regularly check the state of charge with a simple hydrometer. Battery manufacturers typically have a specific gravity chart that shows what the hydrometer will read at full charge, and also identify when it reaches various percentages of discharge. Periodically checking the hydrometer readings will give you a good idea how much run-time the batteries can operate before reaching 50-percent discharge. Charging the batteries at this level, or before 50-percent DOD, will greatly promote longer service life.
The third factor is one you’re probably already doing, proper maintenance. This includes checking water levels and topping off each cell to the battery manufacturer’s recommended levels as needed. It also includes visual inspections that require looking for clean terminals and wiring, then making repairs as necessary. Performing regular equalization charges at least once per month is also an important part of a proper maintenance routine that can prevent stratification and shorten battery life.
Does this really work? The best examples come from new and used golf car dealers who are seeing the benefits of providing training for their customers on these important factors, as well as proper maintenance procedures. Many report that they have had customers get an average of five to seven years out of their batteries, which can dramatically reduce the cost of owning and operating a battery powered golf car over the long haul.
U.S. Battery introduced its mobile app earlier this year. This powerful tool allows users to access exclusive U.S. Battery content from their Apple or Android device. Here are a few ways that the app can be useful to you.
Battery Application Guide
When it comes time to replace one or more of your deep cycle batteries, selecting the right one for your application can be confusing. Battery powered vehicles and equipment often operate under different voltages and run-times, which makes selecting the right deep-cycle battery particularly important.
U.S. Battery Manufacturing created its mobile app to help you make the correct battery selection. The included Battery Application Guide makes it easy to find and select the right battery for a variety of applications including golf carts, floor machines, aerial work platforms, and more. By selecting your machine’s manufacturer and model, you can determine the batteries best suited to ensure your machine’s optimal performance.
Access to Product Spec. Sheets
From the app, you are able to easily access the most up-to-date spec. sheets and product information for all of U.S. Battery’s Flooded Lead Acid and AGM batteries.
Learn about new products you might be interested in as soon as they are announced. Users can create a login and get notifications on new products, events, articles, and videos that are customized to their particular interests.
When purchasing or replacing batteries, it’s important to remember the type of terminals used on the batteries in order to make the right wiring connections. Deep-cycle batteries often come with UTL style terminals but there are other options that can be specific to your application.
UTL terminals allow wiring to be attached flat onto the top of the terminal and are typically available in short (UTL) and longer (UT) sizes. Large “L” and small “L” terminals are often used in applications where the wiring needs to be attached to the sides of the terminal. Batteries can also be ordered with an SAE terminal, which accommodates wiring that clamps around the terminal, much like car batteries.
Make sure to carefully order any new or replacement battery with the proper terminals. Your local battery distributor will be able to show you a variety of options that are best suited for your particular application. For more information on battery terminals and finding the right battery for your application, visit www.usbattery.com.
Market Researchers See Continued Growth On Electric, Battery Powered Golf Cars Through 2026
According to a market analysis by consulting and marketing research firm, Future Market Insights, the golf car market is expected to be positive for the long-term, with electric golf cars having the highest anticipated compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent through 2026. (Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 ).
According to the research, the growth is due to the electric golf car as internal transportation for developing countries, as well as private clubs, golf-centric real estate developments, the travel tourism industry which is expected to include new construction of resorts and golf courses.
Golf Car Options Magazine also published the research, but they suspect that this expected growth of the global golf car market will be challenged with the maintenance of lead-acid batteries, claiming that they are also less efficient and require frequent charging. While battery maintenance is essential for optimum performance in electric golf cars, items such as single point watering systems, Sense Smart Valves and proper charging techniques, can dramatically reduce maintenance and extend battery life. In addition, flooded lead-acid batteries have the benefit of being recycled at a rate of 99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries in a closed-loop system.
The report goes on to say that electric powered golf cars are expected to continue to dominate the market in terms of value over the forecast period.
US Battery’s 12VRX XC2 is a popular choice for 12-volt deep cycle batteries used in a variety of applications. Originally designed for the 48-volt EZGO RXV vehicles without watering systems, the 12VRX has become popular in many other 48-volt and 72-volt golf cars in addition to equipment in applications such as aerial work platforms, recreational vehicles, and floor cleaning machines.
US Battery developed the 12VRX as a substitute to the popular 12VXC battery in order to address the difficulty of manually watering the rear battery on RXV golf cars. The cell vents on the 12VRX are configured horizontally on the battery as opposed to the chevron or “V” shaped spacing of the 12VXC. This allows the battery to be manually watered in equipment where space is limited or where batteries are partially covered. In addition to being easier to water, the 12VRX also differs from the 12VXC in how it is lifted. The 12VRX contains lifting tabs on top of the battery that eliminates the need for the handles located on the ends of the 12VXC. This saves almost a full inch in length, allowing the 12VRX to be installed in tight compartments where the 12VXC does not fit.
While the 12VRX is only compatible with Battery Watering Technologies (BWT) watering systems, the 12VXC is compatible with both Flowrite and BWT watering systems. For RXV golf cars with existing watering systems, US Battery offers a third 12-volt deep cycle battery called the 12VXZ. This battery is designed to fit in the RXV vehicles and still be compatible with the OEM Flowrite watering kits. Of all three batteries, the 12VRX is the most universal in regards to fitment.
U.S. Battery’s 12VRX offers unique advantages for a variety of applications. Advantages include providing high capacity (155 Amp Hours at the 20-hour rate), the ability to reach peak capacity in fewer cycles than other batteries in its class, and the ability to provide the most total energy throughout the life of the battery. This premium battery is part of the company’s Endurance Plus™ line of batteries, designed to provide high value and optimum performance. U.S. Battery products are manufactured and assembled by hand in the U.S.A. See U.S. Battery’s full line of 12-volt deep cycle batteries here https://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-batteries/
The Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries In Your Golf Car Provide Renewable “Green” Energy
For several decades, golf cars have extended beyond the golf course and have been the main mode of daily transportation in resort and retirement communities to ease traffic congestion and reduce noise. With an increasing global interest focused on reducing emissions, utilizing renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment, various industries are taking a second look at the old battery-powered golf car.
The advantages of the electric golf car stem from those that use flooded lead-acid batteries. At first, this seems contrary to the purpose, but a closer look at what is happening with this segment of the battery industry reveals a much greener and sustainable method of power.
According to Fred Wehmeyer, U.S. Battery Vice President/Engineering, in most cases, flooded lead-acid batteries remain as the most cost-effective method for powering golf cars and small electric vehicles over the long-term. Some would argue that Lithium-ion batteries provide a better solution. Although Lithium battery packs may provide longer cycle life, comparing actual amp-hour capacity and battery pack energy (kilowatt-hours) often shows that the flooded lead-acid battery pack provides the most cost-effective solution at an overall purchase cost and operational cost per kilowatt-hours.
Renewable And Sustainable Advantages
One of the biggest benefits to utilizing golf cars with flooded lead-acid batteries is that the batteries are recycled at a rate of 97 to 99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries in a closed-loop system. According to the Battery Council International, lead recyclers undergo some of the most restrictive emissions regulations. The process of recycling lead combined with tough emissions standards has produced new methods of recycling with reduced emissions that are far below EPA regulations. The BCI reports that contamination in the air has dropped by 99 percent since 1980. In addition, a recent study released by the BCI suggests that the U.S. lead battery industry enables more than 95,000 jobs for American workers and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy in 2016.*
It’s easy to see why many industries have continued to utilize flooded lead-acid batteries to power everything from fleets of golf cars, aerial lifts, cleaning machines and more. In addition to reducing annual operating costs, industries and individuals embracing battery power are also doing their part to help the economy and the environment.
For more information and maintenance tips on batteries for your electric vehicle, visit www.usbattery.com.
*Lead Battery Industry Provides Billions in Economic Benefit, Provides Gateway to Middle Class – Battery Council International February 1, 2018
In many retirement communities, electric golf cars are the major form of transportation. For one dealer, Jim’s Carts N Parts in Milton, Wisconsin, they train customers in performing proper maintenance procedures on the golf car batteries within the vehicles they sell. While other golf car dealers hand out pamphlets on battery maintenance, Jim Naughton Sr. takes the time to personally conduct classes for each customer before they take possession of a new or used golf car purchased from them.
The results of these efforts are demonstrated with this latest testimonial from the company, who came across a set of U.S. Battery US2200 XC2 batteries that were purchased new and installed on a customer’s golf car in June of 2012. The team at Jim’s Carts N Parts had purchased the vehicle as a trade-in for a newer model. Once they checked the condition of the batteries, which included a discharge test, it indicated that the batteries lasted 72 minutes on a charge and were still at maximum capacity after more than five years!
Proper battery maintenance for flooded lead-acid batteries is simple and can be checked with an inexpensive hydrometer. More information and tips on proper battery maintenance and using a hydrometer to test a battery’s state of charge, are available at www.usbattery.com.