Picking the Perfect Ride: 36V vs 48V Golf Cart

When you are going to choose a golf cart, the choice will mainly come down to two options – 36V and 48V. That is when the “36V vs 48V golf cart” debate arises.

A 36V golf cart is like a trusty sedan, offering reliable performance on flat surfaces and smooth terrain. On the other hand, a 48V golf cart is the sportier option. It is designed for those seeking a bit more “oomph” in their ride. It gives you that extra burst of speed, making it perfect for conquering rugged terrains and challenging hills.

Without further ado, let’s dig deeper into the differences between these two powerhouses. By reading this guide, you will be able to choose the perfect companion for your golfing adventures.

36V vs 48V Golf Cart: Difference At A Glance

I have created a simple comparison table for 36V vs 48V golf carts if you want to quickly find out how these two types of golf carts differ.

  36V Golf Cart 48V Golf Cart
Amperage Less power and shorter range More power and longer range
Voltage Lower voltage Higher voltage
Power/Torque Slower acceleration Quicker acceleration
Terrain Suitable for flat surfaces Ideal for hilly terrains
Maintenance Lower initial and battery replacement costs Greater efficiency and part availability
Purchase Cost Lower initial purchase cost Higher initial cost, but more features

The Pros and Cons of 36V and 48V Golf Carts

Choosing between a 36V and a 48V golf cart is not easy. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. To make the right decision, you need to understand their advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of 36V Golf Cart:

  • A major advantage of a 36V golf cart is its affordability. The initial purchase cost is lower compared to 48V systems. Undoubtedly, they are a budget-friendly option.
  • Maintaining a 36V golf cart is easier on your wallet. It requires just six 6-volt batteries, which are more affordable to replace compared to higher voltage systems.
  • In general, 36V golf carts are more cost-effective when you need to replace the motor or controller.
  • These carts are ideal for leisurely cruising around flat neighborhoods or golf courses at speeds of 10-12 mph.

Cons of 36V Golf Cart:

  • 36V golf carts produce less power than their 48V counterparts. So, they are less suitable for demanding off-road adventures.
  • Due to their lower voltage, 36V systems yield fewer hours on a single battery charge. Their longevity might not be suitable for longer journeys.
  • It is not recommended to use a 36V golf cart off-road since it lacks the power necessary for rugged terrains.

Pros of 48V Golf Cart:

  • 48V golf carts are easily convertible into hunting buggies or off-road vehicles, thanks to their higher power output.
  • They use 1/3 less amperage than 36V carts. Therefore, they are more efficient and can provide longer run times.
  • Finding parts, especially upgrades, for 48V systems is more straightforward. You will have more options for customization.
  • If you decide to sell your 48V golf cart in the future, it will likely fetch a higher resale value compared to a 36V model.

Cons of 48V Golf Cart:

  • Generally, the upfront cost of purchasing a 48V golf cart is higher than that of a 36V model.
  • Batteries for 48V systems tend to be more expensive to replace, which can impact maintenance costs.
  • If you need to replace the motor or controller, you can expect it to be a bit more expensive compared to 36V carts.

The Difference Between a 36V and 48V Golf Cart

If you are in the market for a golf cart, one of the key decisions you will need to make is whether to go with a 36V or a 48V system. That is why you need to understand the differences between these two options in terms of the following factors.


Amps, or amperage, determine how far you can go on a single charge. It is somewhat related to the gas in your car’s fuel tank. More amperage equates to a longer ride before you need to recharge.

When comparing stock 36V and 48V carts, the 36V golf cart has less power. So, it won’t travel as far on a single charge when compared to the 48V golf cart.

Who is the winner?

The 48V golf cart wins in the amperage department as it offers more power.


Voltage is a measure of the power your battery pack can provide. It is similar to the horsepower of your cart. More volts mean more power, which translates to more speed and better performance on various terrains.

Who is the winner?

When it comes to volts, the 48V golf cart takes the lead in providing more power and speed.


A 36V golf cart, without upgrades, typically reaches speeds between 12-14 mph. A 48V system offers higher low-end torque. You will feel it when you accelerate. It provides more power and accelerates faster than a 36V system.

Who is the winner?

In terms of power and torque, the 48V system emerges as the winner. It offers a quicker and more powerful acceleration than the 36V system.

Where Driven

Obviously, a 48V system is the preferred choice if you want to ride in rough or hilly terrains. It offers the extra “push” needed for challenging conditions.

On the other hand, a 36V system is perfect for flat, smooth, dry surfaces. You can smoothly ride a 36V golf cart on paved golf cart communities or golf courses.

Who is the winner?

The winner here depends on where you plan to drive your golf cart. For rough and hilly terrains, the 48V cart is the better choice. But for flat, smooth surfaces, the 36V cart is the winner.


When deciding between a 36V and 48V cart, don’t forget to consider ongoing maintenance and related costs. Usually, a 36V cart is cheaper both for the initial purchase and battery replacements over time, thanks to having fewer batteries in the pack.

Nonetheless, a lower cost doesn’t always mean it is the best option. The efficiency of a 48V golf cart may offset the maintenance costs for the wider availability of replacement parts. Ultimately, long-term efficiency will be ensured by regular cleaning and maintaining the batteries .

Who is the winner?

The 36V golf cart wins in terms of lower initial and battery replacement costs.

Purchase Cost

In most cases, a new 36V golf cart will have a lower initial purchase cost compared to a 48V cart. Fewer batteries in the pack make it a more affordable choice. Moreover, the brand has a major impact on the cart’s price.

You should know that brands like EZGO, Yamaha, ICON, ClubCar, Garia, and Tomberlin offer both 36V and 48V golf carts. Besides the brand, there are reasons why these golf carts are expensive .

Who is the winner?

Often, 36V golf carts have a lower initial purchase cost. That is why they are the winner when you want a budget-friendly option.

How to Find Out the Voltage of a Golf Cart?

To understand the speed and power potential of your golf cart, it is crucial to know whether your golf cart is a 36V or a 48V model. Here is how you can determine your cart’s voltage:

  • Lift the Seat: You can start by lifting up the seat of your golf cart to reveal the battery compartment.
  • Inspect the Battery Holes: Examine each battery closely. Take note of the number of holes on top of each battery while doing this. You might need to remove the battery cap to get a clear view of these holes.
  • Calculate Battery Voltage: To find the golf cart battery voltage, multiply the number of holes on a single battery by 2. This will give you the voltage of each individual battery.
  • Total Voltage: Now, multiply the voltage of a single battery by the total number of batteries in your golf cart. You must do this to find the overall voltage of your golf cart.

Example: Let’s say each battery has 4 holes in your golf cart. By multiplying 4 by 2, you find that each battery is 8 Volts. Since there are 6 batteries in your cart, you can multiply 8 by 6. This will give you a total of 48 Volts. Therefore, your golf cart is a 48 Volt model.

Final Thoughts

The choice between a 36V and a 48V system boils down to more than just numbers. In the grand “36V vs 48V golf cart” showdown, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The winner here is simply the one that matches your needs.

Consider where you plan to drive, your need for speed, and your budget. These factors will steer you toward the perfect golf cart.

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