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.
Deep cycle batteries are designed to provide continuous power over an extended period of time and are then recharged in preparation for the next discharge/recharge cycle. For many industrial and consumer applications where energy storage is critical, flooded lead-acid batteries provide premium performance at an unrivaled cost. Consumers, however, may not be aware that flooded lead-acid deep cycle batteries are designed to reach their rated and/or peak capacity after a conditioning period of capacity ‘cycle-up’. This cycle-up period consists of a series of discharge/recharge cycles in normal operation during which the available battery capacity increases with each cycle. This conditioning cycle-up period is designed to provide the optimum in cycle life vs. cost for this type of battery and application. The number of cycles required to achieve rated and/or peak capacity depends on many factors, including but not limited to battery design, recharge method, depth of discharge, temperature, etc.
Most deep cycle battery manufacturers provide a ‘Capacity Development Curve’ that describes the relationship of initial capacity and the number of cycles required to achieve rated and/or peak capacity for this type of battery. The test procedures used to determine battery capacity ratings and capacity development relationships are specified in Battery Council International procedure BCIS-05 BCI Specifications for Electric Vehicle Batteries (Rev. 2010-15). Per BCIS-05: “Long-life deep cycle EV batteries typically exhibit 75-80% of rated capacity on initial discharge, full rated capacity within the first 100 cycles, and >100% of rating at peak capacity.”
To achieve optimum cycle life vs. battery acquisition cost, most battery manufacturers recommend sizing the battery’s capacity to ~50% depth of discharge (DOD). This not only optimizes the cycle life of the battery vs. cost but also provides a ‘reserve’ capacity in situations where additional runtime is needed beyond normal requirements. Since flooded lead-acid deep cycle batteries can continue to deliver useable capacity down to ~50% of rated capacity, this recommendation also allows utilization of the total number of cycles available from the battery. For these reasons, the fact that this type of battery does not deliver full rated capacity ‘out-of-box’ is not usually an issue and can easily be managed through proper battery sizing and choice of battery type and manufacturer.
Battery manufacturers do recognize that fleets operating battery-powered machinery such as aerial platform lifts, floor cleaning machines, pallet jacks, and golf carts desire the highest possible capacity over the life of the battery. Accordingly, they are constantly improving battery designs and charging methods to achieve the highest possible initial capacity and the fastest possible cycle-up without compromising overall cycle life.
Funding provided through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program is supporting plans and research investigating advanced lead battery energy storage alongside EV charging points in gas stations in the state of Missouri.
According to the Battery Council International, the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) is in charge of the feasibility study and is preparing to try the lead-acid battery charging stations in at least two locations. “This project aims to demonstrate how advanced lead battery energy storage, linked to EV charging stations, can help manage electricity demand fluctuations and store electricity when it is less costly, before supplying it at a time when electric car drivers need to charge their vehicles,” says CBI Director Dr. Alistair Davidson. “It highlights the important role lead batteries can play in assisting governments around the world to roll-out charging infrastructure and meet energy needs.”
The CBI reports that detailed plans will identify potential funding sources to fully develop each site, which can then be used as a model for future lead battery-supported EV charging stations across the state. CBI aims to establish demonstration sites in the fall of 2019.
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
With only a 12-mile commute to his office, Dr. Karl Klontz thought it would be environmentally responsible to convert his 1994 BMW 318i from gas to electric power, which would also coincide with his solar energy lifestyle. “As a hobby, I work with solar power, going abroad annually to install solar arrays at schools, clinics, and hospitals in developing nations at no cost to the recipients,” says Klontz. “I decided to make the car electric as I’d already installed small solar arrays on my house to power the lights and appliances.”
Klontz realized he used his vehicle on a daily basis and that it consumes the most energy out of all his possessions. “I figured my car was a candidate, so I converted it to electric in order to commute to my job 12 miles away each day,” said Klontz. The conversion of his BMW to electric wasn’t easy, but he managed to gather up the components and put it all together to make it work. “The trickiest parts were finding the proper alignment and bracing for connecting the electric motor to the drivetrain, and the arrangement of the electric components,” said Klontz. “I worked slowly over two years to complete the project in my free time.”
The vehicle is powered by nine U.S. Battery US12V XC2 deep-cycle batteries wired in series that make up a 108-volt system. “I’ve heard from a number of sources in electric car conversion circles, that U.S. Battery products were very reliable providers of energy for jobs such as the one I undertook,” said Klontz. He checked into using Lithium-ion batteries, but the cost was prohibitive. Nonetheless, Klontz’s conversion works fine for his daily driving routine.
“The system has lasted roughly two years with approximately 1,400 charge/discharge cycles,” says Klontz. “With the car in its fifth year of running, I’ve logged nearly 20,000 miles on the vehicle.” Klontz is well versed in making flooded lead-acid batteries last and adds a maintenance routine to keep the batteries in top condition. “I rely on a number of strategies to keep the batteries running as long as possible,” says Klontz. “I try not to discharge them too deeply on any drive. I recharge them immediately after making each trip, particularly in cold weather. I check their fluid levels regularly. I keep the terminals clean, and I check their individual cell specific gravity at the first sign of any voltage lowering.”
Since Klontz recharges the batteries using the solar array in his home, the cost to operate his car dropped to almost nothing, and his carbon footprint is greatly reduced. Overall, the conversion and its advantages showcase what’s possible and Klontz is happy with what he’s accomplished. “If I were to convert another car to all-electric, I’d choose a lighter model,” said Klontz. Lighter models, however, come with less overall structural protection for the driver, and the BMW has proven to be an exceptionally rigorous vehicle in terms of suspension, brakes, and other underlying features.”
U.S. Battery is meeting the needs of a growing heavy-duty electric vehicle market with its new 8VH ATB 8-volt deep-cycle battery. The 8VH ATB is an “all-terrain” battery that can handle extreme power requirements in a variety of electric powered vehicles such as golf cars, off-road vehicles, service equipment, and more. Measuring 10-1/4 (260)L x 7-1/8 (181)W x 11-7/8 (302)H, the US8VH ATB is a GC8H group size battery, designed to fit a variety of vehicles that are built specifically for long distance driving and heavy hauling applications.
Equipped with U.S. Battery’s Xtreme Capacity (XC2®) formulation and Diamond Plate Technology®, the US8VH ATB has a greater performance capability than other batteries in its class, with the ability to reach higher initial rated capacity, and faster cycle up time to full-rated capacity. Providing 205 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, the US8VATB offers reliable performance in heavy-duty applications.
Manufactured in the U.S.A., the US8VH ATB weighs 73.25 lbs. (33.23kg) and comes in a durable polypropylene case. This battery can also be ordered with a variety of precision, hand-made terminals to fit any application. For more information contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit www.usbattery.com.