First off, you will need to know what type of battery chemistry is your cart currently using. Most frequently you will find a lead acid battery in a golf cart. Some have derivatives of the same chemistry like AGM or GEL batteries, but they are still technically lead acid batteries. Lithium is really the only other battery chemistry that is new to the golf cart scene but it is still quite pricey. So for our purposes here, we will talk about traditional lead acid batteries.
When Batteries Are Not In Use
If you are not using your batteries for long periods of time they will start to sulfate. This is basically a chemical reaction where residue build-up inhibits the ability of the electrolyte to react with the lead plates needed to create the electricity. So the best golf cart battery chargers are the ones that have a storage feature. They go into what they call a float state once they reach full charge status.
These chargers are similar to a trickle charger – one that applies low voltage/amperage over a long period of time. This keeps the batteries above the designed voltage level and in prime condition. If you do not do this, particularly with lead acid batteries, what starts out as a little residue turns into small crystals that continue to grow until you have what we call cauliflower. Once they reach this stage, the batteries are usually shot because the residue and build up got so big it shorted out the battery internally when they made two of the individual plates touch.
If you can, never use the ultra-fast charging options on your charger. Generally speaking, you will notver be able to charge to 100% capacity using this mode. Usually ultra-fast is only a tactic used to sell more chargers. They will only charge to about 70% . There is also some evidence that ultra fast chargers will damage your batteries as they do not ‘trickle charge’ when the battery is at capacity. Studies are still on going here. It really is just basic mathematics… voltage and amperage out – voltage and amperage back in. So the voltage and Ah rating that will determine how long it will take to recharge the batteries in your EV.
Remember, if you need to purchase a Lester Electrical golf cart battery charger, purchase one from an authorized Lester dealer. Otherwise your so called manufacturers warranty will not be honored. There are a few cheap imitations on the market, but they pale in comparison to the original charger. Manufacturer branded chargers are built to a higher standard. They may cost you a little more, but they are going to last a lot longer and will charge your batteries efficiently and effectively. This will save you money in the long term.