The answer is, it depends. There isn’t a huge difference between a 36V and 48V golf cart. Both are excellent choices and have a great deal of advantages to be considered when looking into purchasing a golf cart. It really depends on how you’re going to be using your cart. Here are some things to consider:
- Power/Torque - A 48V system has higher low-end torque which you’ll feel when you accelerate. Basically, a 48V system gives you more “pep in your step” and picks up/speeds up a bit faster than a 36V system.
- Energy Needed/Amps Drawn- A 48V system draws less amps and provides a little more range with all things being equal (cart/passenger payload weight, motor horsepower, etc).
- Terrain Where Driven - A 48V system is preferred for terrains that are a bit more rough and “hillier” where the golf cart will need a little more “push”. For example: A golf course with a lot of hills, going up and down rougher terrain to get to your hunting spot, etc. A 36V system is great for flat, smooth, dry surfaces such as driving around your paved golf cart community, golf course, or general leisure cruising.
- Cost - 36V golf carts and their repair parts can be slightly cheaper than 48V golf cart parts.
48V golf carts have improved torque, better pulling/hauling power up hills and around rough terrain, and just have more overall power in general.
Standard 36V and 48V golf carts are capable of the same top-end speed (12MPH). You can, however, make your golf cart go faster by doing a couple of things:
- Larger Tires - You can purchase larger tires. The larger the diameter of the wheels, the faster your golf cart will go. Standard carts will allow for a maximum of 20” tires without the need for a lift kit or block lift. Standard golf cart tires are 18” so an upgrade to 20” tires will give you an added 2 MPH.
- Torque/Controller Upgrade Kit - You can upgrade the torque on your golf cart with a torque upgrade kit or controller upgrade kit.
Something to note when upgrading the speed on your golf cart: ALWAYS be careful! Golf carts have set speeds for a reason. But, if you just need that extra boost and opt to upgrade the factory stock speed, safety first!
Yes! Here are the main parts that will need to be installed/swapped out to do a 36V to 48V conversion:
- Upgraded batteries
- Upgraded solenoid
- Upgraded solenoid diode and resistor
- Upgraded controller
- Upgraded motor
While 72V’s pack a punch in regards to power, the parts and up-keep on a 72V system can get pricey. Think of 48 volts as the goldilocks option. Not too little power (36V) and not too much power/expense (72V).
Their are 3 primary golf cart brands in the industry that both have 36V and 48V systems: Club Car, EZGO and Yamaha. There are also several other brands out there such as Taylor-Dunn, Par Car, Polaris, GEM Car, the Star EV golf cart and many others.
Starting at 36V and working their way up to 48V (even 72V in some cases), 48V golf carts were not introduced until the mid-90's. Here are are the manufacturing years that some of the most popular golf carts starting manufacturing 48V carts:
- Club Car - Club introduced their 48V system in 1995.
- EZGO - EZ-GO introduced their 48V system in 2008.
- Yamaha - Yamaha introduced their 48V system in 1995.
Golf carts in general have been around for quite some time, longer than you probably realize! Here are the manufacturing years that some of the most popular golf cart manufacturers starting making 36V golf carts:
- Club Car - Club Car first introduced their 36V golf cart in 1950.
- EZGO - EZ-GO first introduced their 36V golf cart in 1960.
- Yamaha - Yamaha first introduced their 36V golf cart in 1979.
Need something for your golf cart? Click here to shop all Golf Cart Parts. If you know your specific cart make, try our Club Parts & Accessories, EZ-GO Parts & Accessories or Yamaha Accessories & Parts.
Interested in learning more about golf carts? We have loads of information in our Golf Cart Resource Library.