How long does it take to charge a golf cart? An electric golf cart’s battery cannot last forever. Therefore, you need to charge it before you go playing. Charging being a time consuming process, you need to know how long it takes to plan accordingly.
Look down below for the average time charging a golf cart takes, how to determine golf cart charging time, as well as additional explanations of the factors that affect charge time.
How Long Does it Take to Charge a Golf Cart?
On average, it takes about 8 hours to charge a golf cart battery. The minimum observed charge time is of about 2 hours for some brand new batteries, and the maximum is about 15 hours. However, you need to wait 2 additional hours after the battery is charged to let it cool down since it warmed up during charging.
How Do You Determine Golf Cart Charging Time?
Although golf cart battery charging times vary significantly over time, there are ways to determine how long a single charge will take.
The easiest and most obvious way to determine charging time is to fully empty the battery of all energy by driving it. Then, charge the golf cart, and time how long it takes to charge. You should expect the charging time to be at least several hours.
An alternate, more scientific and involved method to determine charging time is to use a multimeter (a tool for measuring voltage and other electrical variables). First, look at the technical specifications of your golf cart battery and find the battery charge capacity. The unit for charge capacity is the “amp hour”; the capacity should be around 150 amp hours.
Next, look at the technical specifications for charge speed/rate for your golf cart battery charger. The unit for charge speed is the amp; the charge speed should be around 15 amps. If your golf cart battery is fully drained, then you can simply divide the charge capacity by the charge speed to get a good estimate of how many hours the charging will take.
On the other hand, if the battery is only partially drained, you can use a multimeter. Exercise caution before attempting this and do not do anything without researching it thoroughly first. Beware of any electrical hazards and prepare accordingly. Use the contacts on the multimeter on the battery and read the measurement for current battery charge. The unit will be in amp hours. Then, simply subtract the current battery charge from the maximum battery charge capacity. Finally, divide that result by the charging rate of the golf cart battery charger.
If you have an instructions manual for your golf battery charger, it will tell you most of what you need to know to operate it correctly and optimally.
Which Factors Affect the Time it Takes to Charge a Golf Cart?
The time it takes to charge a golf cart’s battery varies depending on various factors. Down below is a list of the main factors that affect golf cart battery charge time.
1. Battery Age
As golf cart batteries age, they become less efficient as their materials deteriorate, until they need to replaced, generally about 3 to 7 years after their purchase.
The general rule is that a brand new golf cart battery will charge much faster than an old battery. If your golf cart battery is 5 years old, and the charging times are frustrating to you, it might be time to invest in a new golf cart battery. If you are more environmentally friendly, you could squeeze in a few more years of life out of your battery.
If you live in a warm region, or store our golf cart in a very warm room (which is a terrible idea), your cart battery can heat up to the point of causing permanent damage. Excessive heat will reduce the battery’s lifespan and it will make charging it somewhat slower.
To illustrate this effect, a charger with a charge rate of 10 amps might only be able to provide 8 amps if the weather is hot enough.
On the other hand, you should not leave your golf cart outside if you experience freezing temperatures in your region. If you cannot store the golf cart inside, at least store the battery indoors. Under freezing temperature, the battery insides start to freeze and this can cause charging, as well as capacity issues.
3. Charger Charge Rate
Different golf cart battery chargers have different charging rates, measured in amps. The charging rate is the speed with which a battery charger charges a battery with electricity.
Some battery chargers have higher charge rates, while others have lower charge rates. Charge rates for golf cart battery chargers often fall within the 5-25 amps range.
4. Overcharge Damage
Overcharge damage occurs in your golf cart battery when you keep sending electricity into it while it is already full. Some golf chargers are not “smart” enough to stop sending electricity into the battery once it cannot take any more without getting damaged. Once the cart battery is full, you should generally remove the charger from it. If you do not remove the charger, you run the risk of jeopardizing the lifetime of your battery and how fast it charged.
If you use an automatic battery charger, you can probably ignore this point, but you should still unplug it in case potential glitches occur. Automatic battery chargers usually stop charging the golf cart battery once it is full. Make it a habit to unplug the golf cart battery charger when the battery is charged.
5. Undercharge Damage
Undercharge damage is what occurs when you leave your golf cart battery unplugged for too long. The golf cart battery completely drains to 0, and then it dies. There are special chargers to recondition the battery, but the process still causes damage, resulting in a negative change in the battery’s performance.
Should You Keep Your Golf Cart Charger Plugged In All the Time?
Like many things in life, the answer to this question is: “it depends”. Different golf cart battery chargers have different properties. Some battery chargers, automatic chargers, provide a steady flow of electricity to keep the battery at a good level after the charge cycle is complete, switching off when needed.
However, it is healthier for your battery to lose charge and recharge later; it is generally better for individuals to let their battery drain out and charge it again periodically, charging it the night before playing. Leaving golf carts plugged in constantly makes more sense for golf courses who need their golf carts to always be charged for clients who rent them.
Other chargers, such as non-automatic chargers, will damage the battery if you leave them plugged in too long. You should research your own golf cart battery charger thoroughly to make the best decision.
You want your battery to keep getting charged regularly, or else it will drain.
For example, if you leave on a trip, and leave your golf cart unplugged too long, it will be drained when you come back. Unfortunately, letting the battery drain can kill it, and you will need to fix it with a special charger; this process can be damaging to the battery.
You can extend your golf cart battery lifetime to about 4 to 7 years by taking good care of it.
Overall, it is best for most people to not leave their battery charger plugged indefinitely, but to plug it in regularly after it drains. Charge your golf cart battery at least 1 to 2 times a month. Also, fully charge your golf cart overnight the day before going out to play.
After reading this article, you now have a good grasp on how long it takes to charge your golf cart battery. In addition, you better understand the factors that affect battery charge time and lifespan. Finally, you learned whether to leave your golf charger plugged in indefinitely. Enjoy your golf cart ride!
How long does your golf cart take to charge? Tell us so we can compare our results in the comments down below!