Can You Put 48V Batteries in a 36V Golf Cart?

Golf carts are versatile vehicles used for various purposes, including golfing, transportation within gated communities, and even for recreational purposes. Many golf carts are powered by electric batteries, with 36V and 48V systems being the most common. If you own a 36V golf cart and are considering upgrading to 48V batteries, there are several important factors to consider. In this blog post, we will explore whether it’s possible to put 48V batteries in a 36V golf cart, the advantages and disadvantages of doing so, and the steps involved in making this conversion.

Rangefinder on Discount

Understanding Golf Cart Voltage

Before diving into the topic, it’s crucial to understand the basics of golf cart voltage systems. Golf carts typically come in two voltage configurations: 36V and 48V. The voltage rating refers to the total potential difference supplied by the batteries to power the cart’s electric motor. A 36V golf cart has six 6V batteries connected in series, while a 48V golf cart has six 8V batteries connected in series.

Can You Put 48V Batteries in a 36V Golf Cart?

The short answer is yes, you can put 48V batteries in a 36V golf cart, but it’s not as simple as just swapping out the batteries. Here are the key considerations:

  1. Compatibility: Before making the conversion, you need to ensure that your golf cart’s electrical system can handle 48V. Some older golf carts may not be designed for 48V, and attempting this conversion could cause electrical problems or even damage to the cart’s components.
  2. Controller and Charger: Upgrading to 48V batteries will require you to replace the controller and charger in your golf cart. The existing components are designed for 36V, and using them with 48V batteries can lead to overcharging and other issues.
  3. Wiring: The wiring in your golf cart will also need to be upgraded to accommodate the higher voltage. This includes rewiring the motor, solenoid, and other electrical connections.
  4. Safety Concerns: Working with higher voltage batteries carries inherent safety risks. It’s essential to have a good understanding of electrical systems and take appropriate safety precautions when making this conversion.

Advantages of Upgrading to 48V Batteries

While converting a 36V golf cart to 48V requires effort and investment, it comes with several advantages:

  1. Increased Speed and Power: A 48V system provides more power to the electric motor, resulting in higher speed and improved performance, especially when climbing hills.
  2. Extended Range: With 48V batteries, your golf cart can cover more distance on a single charge compared to a 36V system, which can be advantageous for long rides.
  3. Better Torque: Higher voltage systems often offer better torque, making it easier to carry passengers or haul cargo in your golf cart.
  4. Modernization: Upgrading to a 48V system can modernize an older golf cart, improving its overall performance and lifespan.

Steps to Convert to 48V

If you decide to proceed with the conversion, here are the general steps involved:

  1. Check Compatibility: Ensure that your golf cart is compatible with a 48V system. Consult your cart’s manual or a professional technician if needed.
  2. Acquire 48V Batteries: Purchase six 8V batteries to replace the existing 6V ones.
  3. Upgrade Controller and Charger: Replace the controller and charger with components designed for a 48V system.
  4. Rewire the Golf Cart: Rewire the golf cart to accommodate the new voltage system, including the motor and other electrical connections.
  5. Safety Precautions: Take all necessary safety precautions, such as wearing appropriate protective gear and working in a well-ventilated area.

Considerations and precautions you should take when upgrading your 36V golf cart to a 48V system.

  1. Consult with Experts: Before embarking on this conversion, it’s highly recommended to consult with experts or professionals who have experience with golf cart electrical systems. They can assess your cart’s compatibility and guide you through the conversion process.
  2. Battery Selection: When choosing 48V batteries, opt for high-quality, deep-cycle batteries specifically designed for golf carts. Popular brands like Trojan and US Battery offer reliable options. Ensure that the new batteries fit into your cart’s battery compartment without modification.
  3. Controller and Charger Upgrade: Upgrading the controller and charger is critical to match the higher voltage system. These components are designed to regulate and manage the power supplied to the electric motor and batteries. Using mismatched components can lead to premature battery failure and other electrical problems.
  4. Wiring and Connections: Rewiring the golf cart is a complex task that involves connecting the new batteries in series to create a 48V system. Ensure that all connections are secure, and the wiring is neat and organized. Properly insulate all exposed wires to prevent accidents and short circuits.
  5. Safety Precautions: Safety should be your top priority during the conversion. Always wear safety gear such as gloves and safety glasses when working with electrical components. Disconnect the batteries and discharge any stored energy before starting any work. If you’re unsure about any step, seek professional assistance.
  6. Testing and Calibration: After completing the conversion, thoroughly test the golf cart to ensure that it operates as expected. Check for proper acceleration, braking, and speed control. If any issues arise, address them immediately. Calibrate the controller and charger according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Maintenance: A 48V golf cart may require more frequent maintenance than a 36V one. Regularly check the batteries for signs of corrosion, and clean the terminals to maintain good electrical connections. Keep an eye on the water levels in the batteries and top them up as needed with distilled water.
  8. Legal Considerations: Be aware that modifying your golf cart’s voltage system may have legal implications depending on your location and intended use. Check local regulations and ensure your modified golf cart complies with safety and environmental standards.

Voltage Comparison

Golf Cart TypeOriginal Voltage (36V)Upgraded Voltage (48V)AdvantagesDisadvantages
Gas-Powered36V48V– Improved Speed<br>- Longer Range– Potential Motor Damage<br>- Warranty Void
Electric-Powered36V48V– Significant Performance Boost<br>- Better Hill Climbing– Cost of Battery Upgrade<br>- Controller Replacement

Battery Types

Battery TypeVoltage (V)CharacteristicsCompatibilityLifespan (Years)
Lead-Acid36VTraditional, AffordableCompatible with 36V Carts3-5 Years
Lithium-Ion48VLightweight, High Energy DensityCompatible with 48V Carts5-10 Years

Battery Upgrade Costs

ComponentCost (USD)
48V Battery Pack500 – 800
Controller Replacement100 – 300
Wiring and Connectors50 – 100
Labor (Installation)100 – 200
Total Cost750 – 1400

Performance Comparison

Aspect36V Cart48V Cart
Speed (mph)10-1220-25
Range (miles)20-2530-40
Hill Climbing AbilityModerateExcellent

Safety Considerations

Safety Aspect36V Cart48V Cart
Motor and Controller StressLowerHigher
Overheating RiskLowerHigher
Warranty ImplicationsPreservedVoided
Fire HazardLowerHigher
Maintenance ComplexitySimpleComplex


Converting a 36V golf cart to a 48V system can be a rewarding project, enhancing your cart’s performance and capabilities. However, it’s not a task for beginners or those without electrical expertise. Careful planning, compatibility checks, and adherence to safety guidelines are crucial for a successful conversion.

If you’re uncertain about any aspect of the conversion, it’s wise to seek professional assistance to avoid costly mistakes and ensure the safety of your golf cart and its users. Done correctly, upgrading to 48V batteries can breathe new life into your golf cart, providing improved speed, power, and range for your golfing and recreational adventures.

Can You Put 48V Batteries in a 36V Golf Cart?


  • Ryan Spino

    Ryan Spino, our Executive Editor since January 2022, has been instrumental in shaping The Golf Mine. His vision, backed by a Golf Management MBA and extensive editorial expertise, has expanded our coverage, ensuring that every article upholds our commitment to quality and accuracy in the golfing realm.

Leave a Comment