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How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last? | Lead-Acid VS. Lithium

How Long Do Golf Cart Batteries Last? | Lead-Acid VS. Lithium

Golf Cart Stuff Senior Content Writer
Written By: Amber Ripley
Read Time: 3-5 minutes

Golf carts have become an integral part of many people's lives, providing convenience and mobility for a range of purposes from the golf course to grocery shopping. A crucial aspect of these vehicles is their battery life, as it determines the overall performance and usability of the golf cart. 

In this article, we will delve into the lifespan and performance of golf cart batteries and compare the two most common types: lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries. Additionally, we will explore practical strategies to extend the longevity of golf cart batteries, ensuring optimal performance and minimizing the need for frequent replacements.

Understanding Golf Cart Batteries

All about Golf Cart Batteries

Before delving into the differences between lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries, it is essential to comprehend the basic principles of golf cart batteries. 

Golf cart batteries are typically deep-cycle batteries, designed to discharge a large portion of their power over an extended time. This makes deep-cycle batteries distinctly different from automotive batteries, which are primarily used for starting engines and delivering short bursts of energy when needed.

Deep-cycle batteries, including both lead-acid and lithium variants, are designed to provide a steady flow of energy over an extended period of time. This characteristic makes them suitable for golf carts, LSVs, electric vehicles, and other smaller powersports applications.

For a deep dive into the different types of golf cart batteries and the best option for your carting style, check out our official Golf Cart Battery Buying Guide

Lead-Acid Batteries: Performance and Lifespan

Trojan T-875 Lead-Acid Golf Cart Batteries

Lead-acid batteries have been the traditional choice for powering golf carts for many years. They are reliable, relatively inexpensive, and widely available. However, understanding their lifespan and performance characteristics is crucial to making informed purchasing decisions.

  1. Lifespan: On average, lead-acid batteries tend to last between 4 to 6 years with proper maintenance and usage. However, this lifespan can be significantly influenced by factors such as temperature extremes, depth of discharge, charging practices, and maintenance routines.
  2. Performance: Lead-acid batteries provide a lower energy density compared to lithium batteries, meaning they have a lower energy capacity and require more frequent recharging. They are also more sensitive to deep discharges, which impacts their overall lifespan.


Lithium Batteries: Performance and Lifespan


Trojan Lithium 48V Golf Cart Battery
Lithium Golf Cart Batteries have gained prominence in recent years due to their exceptional performance and longevity. They offer several advantages over lead-acid batteries, but their higher upfront cost can be a deterrent for some golf cart owners. Let's go over their performance characteristics and lifespan.


  1. Lifespan: Lithium batteries have a significantly longer lifespan compared to lead-acid batteries, typically lasting between 8 to 12 years. However, it is important to note that the lifespan can be influenced by factors such as operating and storage temperatures, charging practices, and usage patterns.
  2. Performance: Lithium batteries offer higher energy density, providing greater capacity and longer runtimes compared to lead-acid batteries. They can also handle deeper discharges more effectively, reducing the risk of damage or capacity loss. Furthermore, lithium batteries are lighter, require less maintenance, and offer faster charging times.

Are you in the market for new lithium golf cart batteries, but aren't sure where to start? We wrote an article comparing all the top brands!

Extending Golf Cart Battery Life

Regardless of Lithium or Lead-Acid, there are a few simple and effective steps golf cart owners can take to maximize the lifespan of their batteries:

  1. Proper Charging Practices: Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for charging, including using the recommended charger and avoiding overcharging or undercharging. Regularly check the water levels in lead-acid batteries and ensure they are adequately topped up.
  2. Temperature Control: Extreme temperatures can adversely affect battery performance and lifespan. Whenever possible, store golf carts in a temperature-controlled environment, especially during periods of extreme heat or cold.
  3. Depth of Discharge: Minimize deep discharges, as they can accelerate battery deterioration. Avoid running batteries to a low charge level and recharge them before they reach critical levels. (Most relevant for flooded lead-acid batteries).
  4. Maintenance: Conduct regular battery maintenance, including cleaning terminals, checking for corrosion, and tightening connections. Ensure there is proper ventilation around the battery compartment to prevent heat buildup.
  5. Equalization Charging (Lead-acid batteries): Periodically perform equalization charging, a controlled overcharging process that helps balance cell voltages and prevent sulfation (video below!).
  6. Proper Storage: If you are not using your golf cart for an extended period of time, always store the batteries in a fully charged state. This means performing regular checks of the charge level during storage and recharging as necessary to prevent deep discharges.

If #5 above has you scratching your head - SAME.
So, I did a little research, and I've found that Vicki from Trojan Battery explains it best in this video: 

Closing Thoughts

How Long Will Golf Cart Batteries Last?

Golf cart battery lifespan is a crucial consideration for golf cart owners. While lead-acid batteries have been the conventional choice, lithium batteries offer superior performance and a longer lifespan. Understanding the characteristics and maintenance requirements of both types can help make an informed decision when choosing the right battery for your golf cart.

Regardless of the battery type, implementing proper charging practices, controlling temperature exposure, monitoring depth of discharge, conducting regular maintenance, and employing appropriate storage techniques can significantly extend the lifespan of golf cart batteries. By following these strategies, golf cart owners can enjoy enhanced performance, longer battery life, and a more reliable golfing experience for years to come.

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Golf Cart Stuff Helpful Blog Content Writing What would you get if you crossed a scientist and a golf cart? It would be our Senior Content Writer, Amber Ripley! If you have a question, she knows how to research to bring you the information you need. Before joining the ranks at Golf Cart Stuff™, Amber was in sales and marketing for industrial tool and die products, so digging into all the nitty gritty, technical details about Golf Carts is par for the courseIn the words of a famous songwriter: “If you got a problem, Yo! She’ll solve it!”

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