The biggest problems with an electric golf cart motor are its power and its charge. Having to navigate a steep course can sometimes leave something to be desired, especially when it feels like your cart can barely make up the hill. The charge, too, is problematic. Electric golf carts are powered by a series of 6- or 8-volt batteries wired together to form a 36-, 48- or 60-volt charge. Together, they provide only so much power before they need recharging. It is possible, however, to lengthen the charge available to your electric golf cart motor. The process is a simple matter of adding more batteries in series to the current configuration.
Step 1: Be Sure You Have the Right Batteries
You will be adding batteries in series to the electric motor of your golf cart. Essentially, you will increase the total voltage available to the motor to enable the cart to drive for a longer period of time before recharging. Most importantly, be sure the additional batteries you purchase are of the same size and rating as the current batteries. Your golf cart battery is likely a 36- or 48-volt battery comprised of a combination of 6- or 8-volt batteries. Make sure you know which type your golf cart uses or the series connection won’t work.
Step 2: Disconnect the Current Configuration
The battery, although it is likely enclosed in a single shell, is a series circuit. The hot cable is typically the red wire. The power exits the battery from there, powers the motor and the current returns to the battery through the black or negative cable. Disconnect the hot wire from the golf cart battery.
Step 3: Connect Additional Batteries
Assuming you have a 48-volt golf cart battery, adding two 6-volt batteries (provided the cart uses eight 6-volt batteries to begin with) will give you 60 volts. Connect the two additional batteries with a single cable. Connect the negative terminal of one with the positive terminal of the other. Connect the free negative terminal on one of the batteries with the main golf cart battery. To the free positive terminal on the other battery, connect the main positive lead.
Step 4: Check Other Components
Other golf cart components such as the controller, the directional switch and the wiring may have to be altered when you increase the voltage supplied to the motor. This is because the motor is rated to a particular voltage which you just increased. Check with the golf cart manual for specific changes to components that must be made if by adding voltage in series.
Step 5: Charge the Battery
Now that you have a 60-volt battery powering your golf cart, it will require a 60-volt battery charger. Either that or you can use your current 48-volt charger to re-power the main battery. Before you do, disconnect the two additional batteries and charge them separately with a 12-volt battery charger.
The last thing to do is find a place in the motor area for the new batteries. If there is room, mount a bracket somewhere on the frame next to the battery to set the two new batteries. You may have to make a modification somewhere to get the batteries safely positioned.