Gas or Electric Golf Car??
Are you perplexed regarding the decision as to whether to purchase a gas or an electric golf car? Well, join the crowd as many people face the same decision every day. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer across the board for everyone. So…how then do you make this decision?
Like many choices, there are pros and cons for each type of vehicle so we’ll attempt to lay out all the various issues surrounding each to make your decision a little easier.
How do you intend to use your golf or utility car?
The key deciding factor lies on what you intend to use your car for and what your personal preferences are. Electric golf cars are pretty much silent and use no oil or fuel, making it the clear choice of environmentalists. Gas carts are noisier and require oil and fuel to operate. So….initially, if you ‘think green’ then maybe the electric car is your choice.
If you plan on running your car for several hours at a time, then maybe the gas vehicle is your best choice since electric cars must be charged after a number of hours’ usage and charging may take several hours to complete. Typical range of electric cars are 30-40 miles with a 2 hour pedal time with a few offering nearly double this range for more money. So if you have kids that will use the car all day, then gas may be your better choice. One manufacturer now boasts a 70 mile range for their electric car while another offers a ‘hybrid’ electric car that has a generator on board that charges the batteries while operating and claiming a 150 mile range. So even electric cars are beginning to offer very high ranges on a single charge.
So, for gas cars, you will need access to several gallons of gas from a gasoline supply store or must store a few gallons at your site. If you are using your car out in the boondocks, you may not have gas or electricity available so must be a key thought. You can, however, take a gallon or so of gasoline with you to refill if needed. If you run out of battery power in remote areas, then you’ll have to tow your vehicle in to a charging area.
Another consideration is the amount of electric accessories you intend to install on your car. These accessories include stereos, lights, fans, heaters, etc. These will use the same batteries as your electric car and may take considerable amount of power so your overall range of an electric car may be limited. If you use these on a gasoline car, a battery is also used to supply this power but will be charged when the motor is engaged so there is very little range affected by their use.
Power – years ago, gasoline cars were the most powerful. However, due to the advances in electric technology and the advent of the 48v system, electric cars are as much as or more powerful than their gas counterparts. So if you do a lot of towing or hauling then perhaps either one will suffice with the electric car offering more torque.
With electric cars you have to check the water level monthly or more depending on usage. This is one of the most overlooked tasks or rather, misapplied tasks that electric car owners are guilty of. Refer to a previous Blog article on battery maintenance for more details. With the cost of batteries around $1,000 for a full set, you can ill afford to poorly maintain your vehicles lifeblood. Batteries should last from 4-7 years depending on usage and care while poorly maintained batteries may have to be replaces in 2 or 3 years.
Gas powered cars do require periodic maintenance such as oil and filter changes as well as spark plugs. Except for adding fuel and changing oil, these are typically a once-a-year operation and can be a do-it-yourself task.
Many golf courses and municipalities may prohibit gasoline cars so be sure to check with your course superintendent or home owners association or municipality to insure either car is allowable. In addition, if you intend to drive your car on public roadways or beaches, be sure to check the local regulations governing their use or non-use for that specific area.
Gasoline golf cars are typically more expensive that their electric counterparts. In addition, the number of available used gas cars is much less than electric cars.
Overall operating costs are about the same over time – with a gas car nickel and diming you all year and the electric car costing you $1,000 to replace the batteries every 3-7 years. One manufacturer states the annual cost of operating an electric car is $171 while the gas car costs $130.
The major brands of golf cars are E-Z-GO, Club Car and Yamaha. Staying with these 3 brands will pay off in the long run due to parts availability and service. We have seen many consumers and companies purchase the off-brands made in Asia that seem attractive up front but end up with all sorts of parts and service problems in a few years with no place to turn to.
22340 IH 35 (exit 178)
New Braunfels, TX 78132