The Villages Voice - May 2011

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Gas vs Electric Golf Carts

by Staff

Gas vs Electric Golf Carts

Just about every household in The Villages has a golf cart.  Many have two, and some residents three or four or more golf carts.  Before deciding on the basic make, model and options, residents first choice is gas or electric power for their golf car.

Typically the decision factors favoring electric are: quieter, lower emissions, and ranges up to 60 miles.  Gas golf cars are lighter, don’t requiring charging daily, have less maintenance, retain higher resale value, and have a range of about 250 miles.

Monthly Cost to Operate

The Villages Golf Car Store provided a cost comparison for operation of gas vs. electric golf cars in The Villages for an average daily travel of 10 miles:

Electric:

$0.71 per day (daily average charging costs over life of batteries), $21.30 per month     

$49.53 total monthly average including battery replacement, difference in resale value and annual maintenance

Gas:

                $1.00 per day (40 mpg at $4.00 per gallon)

                $36.36 total monthly average including battery replacement and annual maintenance

Range on Electric Golf Cars

Most electric golf cars are 48 volt systems, where the individually voltage rating batteries in series total 48 volts (i.e. four 12 volt batteries, six 8 volt batteries or eight 6 volts batteries).  The range of an electric golf car is determined by the total battery capacity of the four, six or eight batteries, where eight 6 volt batteries have greater total capacity than six 8 volt batteries, which have greater capacity than four 12 volt batteries.  The approximate ranges of these three 48 volt systems are:       

                Four 12 volt batteries:   25 miles

                Six 8 volt batteries:         40 miles

                Eight 6 volt batteries:    60 miles

The Villages Golf Car Store sells Yamaha, Tomberlin, Polaris and Yesteryear golf cars.  Last month Villagers favored gas models 6 to 1, purchasing 86% gas powered golf cars.

Lucy Kelly of the Village of Summerhill tops off her gas powered golf cart with 1.5 gallons for $5.85.  Lucy generally stays in The Villages using her golf cart about 50% of the time, and infrequently travels outside The Villages for trips such as church and occasional visits to her eye doctor.  With her 6 gallon gas tank and 250-mile range, Lucy can travel comfortably for days around the 32 square miles of The Villages.