Last Updated September 15, 2020
An all too familiar question that we get on a daily basis is: "How do I get more power out of my golf cart?" and "How do I make my golf cart faster?". Just like most questions about this topic, there are many and several means to an end. Here, we are going to talk about how you can increase your Club Car, EZGO and Yamaha power, golf cart speed and torque.
Golf Cart Speed
So, how fast do golf carts go? Most new and used golf carts are made to go a top speed of around 15 miles per hour. Although that is the perfect speed for most folks, there is an equal amount (if not more) of folks out there who are looking to increase their golf cart top speed and go faster than 20 MPH let's say. So, how does one attain this and how much will it cost? Can you do it yourself? We have the answers to all of your questions!
6 Ways You Can Make a Golf Cart Faster
- Add More Torque to Your Golf Cart
- Upgrade Your Golf Cart's Motor
- Improve the High-Speed Controller of the Cart
- Add Better Golf Cart Tires
- Use a Higher Powered Golf Cart Battery
- Watch the Weight in Your Golf Cart
There are many many ways to make your golf cart faster and increase your torque and overall power.
First and foremost, let's take a few steps back and look at defining some of the basic electrical concepts and terms which are very important to adequately understand and grasp regarding your electric golf carts power.
For the purpose of easy understanding, when we use the word "power" that is synonymous with speed and torque. Note: The words "power" and "torque" should not be used to address the top end flat ground speed. Also, to make it even easier as we discuss this topic, we will only be discussing DC motors used for golf cart applications.
1. Extra Torque Means More Speed
You know what 'speed' is, of course, but what is torque? Torque is the pulling power of the motor and is a function of current. So, basically, the higher the current, the more torque.
So, let's get into the meat of it: How do you gain more power from your electric golf cart? In talking about DC golfcart motors, the first thing to understand is that:
Voltage = Speed
Amperage = Torque
If you want to be reminiscent of Speedy Gonzalez and get more speed from you Club Car, EZGO or Yamaha golf cart, you will need to increase the motor RPM. 'How do I do that?' is what you are probably asking yourself. Well, there are two ways to do that:
1.) Use a motor with a higher rated RPM. This allows you to leave your voltage alone.
2.) Provide your current motor with more voltage. This option allows you to keep your current motor and simply provide it with more voltage, which in turn, results in higher top end speed.
Note: Top end speed is how fast your golf cart can go
Now, something to remember, is that the laws of electricity says amperage and voltage are inversely proportional. As one goes up, the other goes down and vice versa. A super easy visual for this concept is simply to think of a seesaw, just like the one you played on as a kid. As you start to go up, your friend would start to go down and so on and so forth.
Now, with many modifications and upgrades you make to gain one or the other, you MAY lose some performance elsewhere (not always, but in some cases, depending on what it is). This is something you will want to keep in mind when shopping around and upgrading parts to your golf carts electrical power system. Just like the seesaw: When you upgrade power in one area, it may cost you performance/power elsewhere.
You're probably scratching your head, wondering how you can avoid uneven power in your golf cart. The answer is simple: Upgrade all of the parts necessary to have even power and torque throughout your WHOLE cart. Upgrading power, in our opinion, should be an "All Or Nothing" project. Your cart will thank you in the long-run.
2. Upgrade Your Golf Cart Motor
Series Wound DC Torque Motors are made with a larger field coil inside. A larger field coil inside of the motor, allows a larger magnetic field generation and holds the armature much more securely, thus producing greater torque. This is an excellent option if you're looking for more torque in your Club Car, EZGO or Yamaha golf cart, but are not so concerned about the speed.
Series Wound DC Speed Motors have a much smaller field coil than that of the Series Wound DC Torque Motor. This of course produces a weaker magnetic field and allows the armature to spin at a much higher RMP. This results in a greater top end speed. If you're looking to be a part of the "Fast Golf Carts" club, this is the option for you.
Generally, installation of a Torque Motor with gain you much more power, BUT, you will sacrifice a bit of speed. Inversely, just as the name suggests, the Speed Motor will result in a higher top end speed in your golf cart, but you will sacrifice a bit of torque.
3. Improve Golf Cart's High-Speed Controller / Solenoid Contactor Relay
Aside from the motor, there are also several components, that you must consider when upgrading. Essentially, installing a torque motor or speed motor may not be the end solution. With that said, something that you will want to keep in mind as you are upgrading, are the two main/major electrical components within your electric golf cart, that play a huge role in your golf carts system:
The Golf Cart Solenoid Contactor Relay and The Golf Cart Electronic Speed Controller
These parts (the Solenoid Contactor Relay and the Electronic Speed Controller) are located between the motor and the battery bank and just as we suggested earlier are part of the "All or nothing". If these parts are not upgraded along with the speed motor or torque motor, you run the risk of creating a "bottleneck" situation (and nobody wants that!). For example:
If the motor is attempting to draw 400 amps to itself, but your controller and solenoid are only rated at a minuscule 275 amps, because of current limitation, the motor will not function at it's highest potential.
We highly recommend upgrading ALL components to the appropriate amp level. If you plan on upgrading the motor and increasing your golf cart speed/golf cart torque that way, here is your laundry list:
- Solenoid Contactor Relay
- Electronic Speed Controller
Pro-Tip: We highly recommend an AllTrax Speed Controller as an upgrade. They are an excellent brand.
4. Add Better Golf Cart Tires
Upgrading tires and increasing your tire size is by far one of the most economical and easiest ways to get more speed out of your golf cart. Equally applied, this is a great solution for both gas and electric golf carts. If you install a tire with a larger diameter on your golf cart, the end result is a higher top speed.
Most stock new and used golf carts come with standard 8" golf cart tires. Bigger golf cart tires alone (20” to 24”), with no other upgrades such as a new motor, speed controller, etc., can add an extra 2-4 MPH of speed to your golf cart depending on the tire size. Some perks to upgrading tires to achieve more speed is:
- It's Cost Effective: Most golf cart tires, even bigger / meatier golf cart tires, are not going to cost as much as some other speed upgrade options.
- It's Easy To Achieve: Putting bigger golf-cart tires on your new or used used golf cart could not be easier! It takes virtually no time to do and can easily be done by regular folks. You simply take off the old tires and put the new ones on and you're ready to roll at a higher speed!
Note: Depending on the size of the tire and the make/model of your golf cart, some golf carts will require a lift kit to accommodate the size of the new tires. If you are unsure whether you need a lift kit for your golf cart before replacing them, we have an excellent Resource that discusses this topic in more depth.
Whether you decide to increase the size of your golf cart tires or not, always be sure to keep the tires properly inflated.
Ideal inflation can vary depending on the size and type of tire that your specific golf cart is using (your golf carts proper inflation levels should be labeled on the sidewall of your tires - Better known as the PSI) so, always make sure, whether you plan on swapping your current tires for bigger tires or not, that you ALWAYS keep them properly inflated. This is probably the easiest and most essential step in ensuring your golf cart’s speed.
5. Use a Higher Powered Golf Cart Battery
Increasing your golf cart batteries voltage is a surefire way to increase your golf carts speed and overall power. This is also a super carefree upgrade that takes virtually no time. What you will need to do first is find out what your current golf cart battery voltage is.
Not sure how to find that info? So easy!
- Check Your Current Batteries: If you have batteries in your golf cart right now, you can simply look on the batteries. The voltage will be printed right on the batteries themselves. Note: If the voltage sticker is rubbed off or worn off of the battery for whatever reason, no worries! We have you covered. Check out What Is My Golf Cart Battery Voltage. This resource will you determine your golf cart battery voltage.
- Check Your Motor: Your battery voltage information can generally be found printed on the golf cart motor.
- Check Your Golf Cart Owners Manual (If Applicable): The recommended battery voltage will be listed in the owners manual.
Simply put, most types of golf carts are designed to work with a range of different batteries. A new battery will increase a golf cart’s motor output. The result of the motor output increase is higher speed. Purchasing new batteries with a higher voltage maximum will increase your golf cart’s speed dramatically.
We highly recommend Golf Cart Batteries, if you plan to replace. They are the best in the industry, with innovative safety features, longevity and the highest level of power available. Trojan golf cart batteries pack a punch and will definitely not let you down.
Remember also: Keep your batteries clean of any corrosion and buildup. Dirty, corrosion covered batteries will can make your golf cart sluggish. We suggest using a battery cleaner to keep your batteries clean and clear. Golf cart battery cleaners are also preemptive so, using it as part of our regular golf cart maintenance routine will help to prevent buildup in the future.
Pro-Tip: If you upgrade your golf cart batteries, we also recommend that you replace your Golf Cart Battery Cables
6. Keep Your Cart Light / Keep It Clean
Likely a 'no-brainer' but, one that can definitely help the overall performance in the speed department is, keeping your golf cart clean and clutter free.
Although many golf cart owners keep their rides in pristine / tip-top shape, the underside of the cart can sometimes be neglected and ignored. Always check the golf cart undercarriage for things like:
- Stones / Pebbles / Rocks
- Caked-On Particles
These things can create a build up on the bottom / undercarriage of your golf cart and cause slower speeds.
Something also to consider is excessive "stuff" in / on your golf cart. Before going on a trip or long haul with your golf cart, or even if you're just driving around the neighborhood: Take a few minutes of time before taking off to make sure that the golf cart is free of any clutter or unnecessary items.
Naturally, your golf cart will be happy to attain higher speeds if it is not bogged down by preventable, excess weight. A golf-cart weighed down by unnecessary clutter and debris is not a happy golf-cart!
In closing, something to keep in mind is: There is no "catch-all" solution to increasing golf cart speed / golf cart power. There are many factors to consider such as, how the parts, pieces and changes interact with your golf cart. Do your homework, always explore your objectives and dip your toe in the water before jumping in headfirst. A planned approach and a structured approach will always result in less headaches and more total satisfaction!