Thinking about buying a golf cart and wondering which is best, gas or electric? We sell and service both at CartsPlus.
Ultimately, determining which is better for you depends on how you plan to use your cart and your temperament for maintenance. Some people just like the quieter electric cart, and that’s as good a reason as any to go electric.
Stop by CartsPlus. We’ll help you find the perfect cart for you.
Below are some things to consider when comparing a gas car with an electric cart.
A new gas golf car will cost about $1,200 more than a comparable electric cart.
The reason gas cars cost more is because they have a lot more parts. And, many of those parts endure constant stress and movement.
The cost of maintenance for a gas cart is typically higher for the same reason.
On level terrain, both a gas car and an electric cart will perform equally well. Gas cars climb rolling terrain better than most electric carts. Although the newer 48-volt electric carts with a motor upgrade will match the climbing power of a gas car.
Electric carts start faster and smoother than gas cars.
Newer gas cars are quieter than their older models, but for true stealth, you can’t beat an electric cart.
Noise is often an issue, whether hunting, fishing, birding or navigating through campgrounds, a retirement community, parks, or a nature preserves.
Cost of Maintenance:
Maintenance is essential to preserving proper functioning of your cart, regardless whether you own a gas car or an electric cart.
Electric carts need very little maintenance because they have so few parts.
Routine care will ensure a full five years of battery life with enough juice to cover 30 miles or more on a single charge although steeper terrain and large wheels will reduce the range.
Gas cars need annual maintenance, including an oil change and a tune-up.
Belts should be inspected every 12 months and will probably need to be replaced every 24 to 36 months. Every 5 years the battery, drive clutch and starter may need to be replaced too.
We estimate that maintenance for a gas car over a 5-year period is slightly greater than for an electric cart. That’s assuming a new gas car or a used car with at least 5 years left on the engine. Older gas cars in poorer condition will cost more to maintain and repair.
In comparison, an electric motor can easily run for 10 years without issues.
Long-term maintenance for an electric cart includes the replacement cost of six 6-volt batteries, plus the minimal cost of distilled water to maintain fluids and baking soda to clean up spilled battery acid if necessary.
Cost to Operate:
The obvious operating cost of a gas car is the cost of gasoline, which is steadily increasing.
The cost of powering an electric cart is the cost of electricity. Although that cost is also increasing, it is not going up as quickly as the price of gas.
To calculate the cost of fully charging the batteries of an electric cart, multiply the price you pay for electricity by the hours it takes to charge the batteries. Heavy use may require 10 hours of charging while light use may only need a couple of hours.
Electric carts are recognized as “zero-emission vehicles.”
Technological advances have reigned in the emissions signature of gas cars, but they still emit toxins into the environment.
California outlawed gas-powered golf carts years ago and may soon outlaw gas-powered automobiles.
Both the body of the gas car and the electric cart are made of similar materials. You’ll find very little difference in the two.
Both are designed to resist damage and to maintain their finish for years.
The difference in the structural frame is notable between manufacturers, not so much between whether a cart is electric or gas.
The most common structural material is aluminum. Aluminum will not rust, but it will corrode, particularly in areas exposed to battery acid.
Because both the gas car and the electric cart have batteries, poor maintenance may result in structural damage. When aluminum is damaged repairs may include welding which can be costly.
The Bottom Line:
The following questions may help you zero in on which is better for you, gas or electric?
- What is the terrain and weather like where you will use the cart?
- Do you want to add accessories?
- Will the cart be unused for long periods of time?
- What are the warranty options for the carts you are considering?
Ultimately, you must decide what your preference is and how you intend to use your new cart.
Come by CartsPlus, we’re in Lexington at the dam. Take a look at our selection of gas and electric carts and see which one you prefer.
We’ll help you find the best one for you.