Why use lithium ion battery in golf cart? Many people know that lithium ion batteries are commonly used in cell phones, but it’s not common for golf carts.
However, some golf cart owners convert golf cart batteries into lithium ion batteries. This is why many people become curious whether or not it’s a better idea to do so.
It’s important to answer such questions because this isn’t just about the convenience of converting to another battery, but the safety of lithium ion as a golf cart battery.
Although it’s not easy to find the exact answer because some information is too complex to explain, we will provide you with the best possible answer that is easy for you to understand.
To help you further, here are the pros and cons of using lithium ion battery in a golf cart.
PROS of Lithium Ion Battery
1. Longer Life
Traditional golf cart batteries have an average of 500 charge cycles; however, lithium ion batteries can reach up to 5,000 charge cycles. This means that it takes time and enormous energy before it gets depleted.
Wet golf cart batteries can last for many years when maintained properly. Despite that, their lives are usually only 50% of the average life of a lithium battery.
Most golf cart batteries are big and heavy, and they don’t take up too much space, but also add to the weight of a golf cart. Such a heavy load requires more power, and this brings additional work to the battery.
Lithium ion batteries, on the other hand, are much lighter than traditional golf batteries. This makes the golf cart move quicker and smoother without the need to consume too much power, and the battery is much smaller.
Another benefit of lighter battery is the ease of maintenance as when smaller batteries such as lithium ion batteries need to be checked or replaced, you won’t find it difficult to lift them out and carry them. They can also provide flexibility.
3. No Acid Spillage
Conventional golf cart batteries are acid-based, and their plates are immersed into sulfuric acid and electrolytes in which the interaction among them produces energy.
However, the fluid becomes saturated with acid is dangerous if there is spillage. Sadly, this is common occurrence in using golf carts, especially when the cart is heavily used.
With lithium ion batteries, you won’t have to worry about such spillage as this battery does not use sulfuric acid. In other words, there is no risk of any fluid leaks that may harm you.
4. No Maintenance
Lithium ion batteries in golf carts don’t have to be maintained the way you maintain your lead acid battery. You don’t have to check whether the fluid is at a high level or low level as it doesn’t require you to fill in any fluid.
On top of that, you don’t have to keep on cleaning or removing any rust since it doesn’t corrode. In other words, lithium ion battery is maintenance free.
5. High-Power Battery
Despite its small size, lithium ion batteries are more powerful than lead-acid battery. It can discharge energy faster than any other battery.
This is the reason why this type of battery is still popular among cell phone manufacturers.
CONS of Lithium Ion Battery
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1. Risk of Explosion
It’s true that lithium ion batteries have more advantages; however, it’s not the number of advantages that count. It’s how severe a single disadvantage every buyer should consider.
Let’s say lithium batteries are near to perfection except one thing – the risk of an explosion. For sure, you might be turned off because of this safety hazard as every battery should achieve a safety level in which the lithium ion battery falls short.
Overheating is very common for this battery, especially when overcharging. In addition, it’s also vulnerable to changes in outdoor temperatures. In a hot summer day, lithium ion batteries are more likely to overheat.
Just like cell phone batteries, you need to charge the lithium battery in golf carts more frequently. Although it’s virtually maintenance free, the hassle of frequently charging it’s almost equal to maintaining a conventional battery.
Furthermore, the risk happens when charging it, since this battery is temperature-sensitive. Any mistake in the step you need to follow in the charging process can cause it to overheat or explode.
Prices of lithium ion batteries for golf carts may vary from time to time, but they do not fall below the price level of conventional batteries. As a matter of fact, their price is four times higher than lead-acid batteries.
Lithium ion batteries are expensive because of the high cost of producing them.
4. Factory Defects
Factory defects may happen from time to time for lithium ion batteries which are very rare with lead acid batteries. Some lithium ion batteries die even before reaching 50% of their normal battery life, and this usually happens beyond the warranty period.
The worst thing is that the other possible defects may cause a sudden explosion even without overheating them based on their specifications.
Every battery has advantages and disadvantages when using in a particular device or vehicle. This is also true with lithium ion batteries in a golf cart.
One thing is for sure, and that is lithium ion batteries are still new for golf carts. This is more compatible with smaller electronic devices; however, it also brings several issues when used in mobile devices.
Nevertheless, the above answers may enlighten you to make the right decision about choosing the right battery for your golf cart.