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Gas vs. Battery Golf Carts: Which One is Best for You

Comparing gas vs. electric golf cart top speed and power

Which, between a gas vs. battery golf cart, should you go for and why? This choice can be challenging if you’re in the market for a new cart. In this guide, we will help you make an informed decision. We’ll compare the two cart types and offer our advice based on their advantages and disadvantages.

Which is Best Gas or Battery Golf Cart

Well, it depends. Each cart type has good and bad sides, so it matters what you intend to use it for—and where. For example, in a quiet neighborhood or golf course, you want it silent and less intrusive.

In rugged terrain, you want the cart to have more power than you would mind it making noise. Also, if you plan to attach a hitch to it and carry more load or need to cover long distances each day.

As you can see, the best way to decide between a gas and electric cart is to have a detailed comparison of their features. That way, you can see what each can or cannot do. So, let’s dive right in.

A gas-powered cart
A gas-powered cart

Gas vs. Battery Golf Cart Comparison

The two carts differ in their power sources. One uses gasoline, while the other relies on stored electricity. This difference means a lot. It gives the trolleys varying performance and usability levels, among other things, such as environmental impact.

Speed and Performance

Interestingly, a battery cart accelerates much faster, and its top speed is slightly higher than a gasoline-powered cart. It typically reaches 24 mph (or higher with a speed upgrade) compared to the fuel-powered engine at 20 mph.

A gas engine handles steep inclines better, given its power at a lower speed. Battery power may not serve you well if you’re constantly climbing hills. The higher power requirement would drain the batteries faster, reducing the range.

Range and Endurance

A gas-powered cart covers 100-180 miles on a single 4-6 gallon tank, making it a better option for longer distances. It also provides consistent power regardless of the amount of fuel remaining.

In comparison, a battery type travels an average of 25 to 40 miles on one charge and slightly longer if you have higher-capacity batteries.

However, the range is rarely a concern in golfing. Unless you’re using the trolley for many hours each day—which is unlikely—you’ll not ride it for more than just a few miles, say below 10. That means the electric engine’s 25-40 miles range is usually more than enough.

Ease of Use and Comfort

Electric golf carts win hands down when you compare the two vehicles for usability and comfort. They’re way more straightforward to use, even by a beginner—and more convenient.

They are quieter, with no vibrations, and do not get hot under the seat when you use them. You also do not need to worry about the smell of fuel, which means a more comfortable experience.

The gas types produce more noise and vibrate mildly when the engine runs. You’ll also feel some heat from the engine on hot days, not to mention the smell of exhaust fumes. In a golf course, noise and exhaust fumes are a nuisance.

Initial vs. Operating Cost

Gas golf trolleys are less expensive to buy but more costly to own. On the other hand, it will cost you more to buy an electric type but less to operate it.

The cost of owning a gasoline-powered type includes refueling and parts replacement expenses. In comparison, you spend much less on the electricity you need to charge batteries, plus you do not need to service them as often or change parts.

You will only need to spend significant money when you finally need to change the batteries. If you’re using AGM batteries, that’s about 2-3 years later. Lithium batteries can last much longer, between 5 and 8 years or more.

Environmental Impact

If you’re concerned about the environment, buy an electric trolley. It produces no emissions and runs quietly. If you charge it from a renewable power source, it becomes an even more environmentally friendly option.

The engine of a gas-powered trolley releases carbon monoxide and nitrogen gases, which are dangerous to the environment. It also produces noise pollution and can be disruptive in quiet surroundings.

Maintenance Requirements

Gas golf carts use IC engines. That means many parts need replacing over time, such as drive belts, valves, spark plugs, clutches, etc. There will also be carbon deposits to clean now and then and various tune-ups to ensure the engine runs optimally.

An electric engine has fewer parts to care for. If it uses lithium batteries, there’s even less work to do. AGM batteries may need more regular maintenance but less than gas engines.

With the gas type, you need two service sessions yearly and about 2 to 4 oil changes, ranging from $70 to $150. In comparison, golf cart batteries last 5-8 years or longer before you need to replace them if they’re lithium types.

Inside the engine compartment of a gas-powered cart
Inside the engine compartment of a gas-powered cart

Pros and Cons of Gas vs. Electric Golf Carts

That was a detailed overview of the difference between gas and electric golf carts and the abilities of each cart type. For a better glimpse of the features, here’s a summary of their pros and cons.

Gas Golf Cart


  • Less expensive to buy
  • Higher power output
  • Longer driving range
  • Quick and more straightforward refueling


  • Louder operation
  • Emits exhaust fumes
  • Slower acceleration
  • More demanding and costly to maintain

Battery Golf Cart


  • Cheaper to operate or own
  • Easier and more convenient to use
  • Higher top speed
  • Faster acceleration
  • Quiet operation
  • No emissions
  • Fewer maintenance requirements


  • Higher purchase price
  • Lower power output
  • Shorter range
  • Takes time to charge
Battery-powered golf cart
Battery-powered golf cart


Your decision on whether to buy a gas or battery golf cart depends on many factors, such as your usage needs and environmental concerns or if you intend to cover long distances. As we have seen, an electric trolley offers more benefits: it’s much more convenient to use, operates quietly, releases no exhaust fumes, and costs less to operate, even when used daily.

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