6 vs. 8 vs. 12-Volt Cart Batteries: Which One Should You Ride With?

Golf carts require 48 volts of battery power to operate.  And cart batteries come in 6, 8, and 12 volts.  But how are you supposed to know which batteries to buy for your cart? 

While logic might dictate that buying four 12-volt batteries is the best option because of less upfront cost, is that necessarily the best way to go?  Let’s find out.

6-Volt Battery Packs

Pros

  • Low depth of discharge
  • Long range at 56 amps
  • High capacity
  • More charge cycles
  • Long lifespan
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Cons

  • Highest upfront cost
  • Longer installation time
  • Added weight to your golf cart

Long Runtime

Most 6-volt batteries can run for 154 minutes at 56 amps.  That’s a lot longer than 8 and 12-volt batteries.

Depth of Discharge

Just like your scorecard, the lower the number the better.  The advantage of 6-volt batteries is that they have the lowest depth of discharge of the three golf cart battery choices. 

Number of Batteries Needed for Your Cart

As your golf cart requires 48 volts to operate, you’re going to need eight 6-volt batteries.  For this reason, you’re going to be out more money upfront if you choose to go this route. 

 

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Price Per Battery

These batteries also tend to be more expensive than eight and 12-volt batteries.  By how much?  By 1.23 times according to U.S. Battery. 

8-Volt Battery Packs

Pros

  • Less upfront cost than 6-volt batteries
  • Less added weight to your cart compared to 6-volt batteries
  • Moderate capacity
  • Decreased installation time

Cons

  • Lower range than 6-volt batteries at 56 amps
  • Higher depth of discharge at 80 minutes is comparison to 6-volt batteries
  • Added weight compared to 6-volt batteries

Average Run Time

Right in the middle, 8-volt batteries fall 36 minutes short of the 6-volt’s range at 56 amps.  They average out at 128 minutes. 

Depth of Discharge

A higher depth of discharge means that 8-volt batteries will require more charges during their lifetime than 6-volt batteries.  As a result, the lifespan is shorter. 

Number of Batteries Needed for Your Cart

Simple math dictates that you’ll need six 8-volt batteries to operate your golf cart. 

Price Per Battery

When it comes to cost, 8-volt batteries are right in the middle compared to six and 12-volt cart batteries.  The good news is these batteries require less install time than 6-volt batteries.  

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12-Volt Battery Packs

Pros

  • More affordable than six and 8-volt batteries
  • Least amount of added weight to your golf cart
  • Fastest installation time of all cart batteries

Cons

  • Lowest range at 56 amps
  • Highest depth of discharge
  • Least capacity

Least Amount of Run Time

Out of all three cart batteries on our list, 12-volts have the least amount of run time.  You’re looking at just 110 minutes at 56 amps. 

Depth of Discharge

These batteries offer the least effective depth of discharge of the three batteries reaching 48% at just 80 minutes. 

Because of this depth of discharge, you have to charge 12-volt batteries the most often.  Subsequently, this gives them the shortest lifespan. 

Number of Batteries Needed for Your Cart

The good news about 12-volt batteries is that you only need four to power your cart.  By comparison, 6-volt batteries require eight and 8-volt batteries require six. 

Price Per Battery

If you’re looking for the cheapest batteries to put in your golf cart, 12-volt is the way to go.  They’re by far the cheapest of all three options. 

This is the case for two reasons.  First, you only need to buy four.  Second, 12-volt batteries are on average .13 times cheaper than 8-volt batteries.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the lifespan of 12-volt batteries is shorter so you’ll have to replace them more often. 

Conclusion

Choosing the right batteries for your golf part is an all too important decision.  After all, if your batteries die, your cart is as good as dead too.

The key is choosing between six, eight, and 12-volt batteries.  While 6-volt batteries cost more money on the front end and take longer to install they last the longest over time, and in terms of operating on a single charge. 

On the other hand, 12-volt batteries are considerably cheaper and faster to install.  But they require more frequent charges and have a shorter lifespan.

What batteries have you chosen for your cart?  Our readers are dying to know, so give us your best advice in the comments below. 

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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