Petrol vs Electric golf cars

Golf Car Associates

Golf car advice

Here at Golf Car Associates, we are of the view that Yamaha petrol golf carts are generally better than any electric golf carts. The only real positive of an electric model is the lower noise level and smoother acceleration. The Yamaha petrol engine golf car has significant advantages compared to any battery powered golf car for the following main reasons:

    • The petrol golf carts hold their value better (higher resale value) because they don’t contain expensive and relatively swiftly depreciating batteries.
    • New golf cart fleet owners do not have to construct expensive indoor parking with charge points and electrical reticulation for petrol cars.
    • Petrol carts are less expensive to own and operate in the longer term than the battery car (a set of batteries with labour and new battery cables costs about R14,000).
    • The tried and tested Yamaha petrol golf cart engine, now available in a “PTV” fuel injected model, is extremely light on fuel, reliable and designed for a low life cycle cost with long service intervals and relatively inexpensive service parts. Yamaha is generally accepted as the best petrol golf car available, as evidenced by the market domination (petrol golf car market share) in the USA. We can show from our fleets on various golf courses that the petrol Yamaha golf car is less expensive to run over the typical 3 to 4 year cycle than any brand of battery golf car, despite the higher petrol prices. Our competitors tend to push their battery cars – we think this may be because they don’t have a petrol golf car that can compete with the Yamaha in terms of fuel economy, noise emissions and a number of other aspects.
    • The servicing of petrol golf carts is only required every 250 hours of run time (over 300 rounds; privately owned cars are typically serviced every 2-years). The ongoing battery maintenance on electric models is not to be underestimated.
    • Petrol golf carts are much easier to look after – nobody has to charge, fill and clean batteries on a daily basis. However, petrol supplies do need to be managed.
    • In spite of common perceptions to the contrary we suspect (but cannot prove) that the petrol golf cart may have a smaller carbon footprint than the battery model. Remember all the pollution created by Eskom to charge the batteries every day and also the manufacture and disposal of these lead-acid batteries, probably three or four times during the car’s life. We would welcome any contribution in respect of this calculation from appropriately knowledgeable people.
    • Yamaha petrol golf cars are relatively quiet (being 4-stroke) and comply with US and UK noise emission standards.
    • The petrol golf cart can be driven all day without the problem of having to plug them in for 8 hours to charge. This is also a factor when there are power outages.
    • As the petrol model is lighter, it is on the course sooner after rain and generally creates less wear and tear on the course.
    • Lower labour cost to get fleet ready:- no plugging-in and unplugging of charging points, or watering required. For example, one can stage (set-up) cars the night before early starts.
    • More flexibility at the end of a lease.
    • No battery ‘headaches’ when the cars stalls due to old batteries during a round

    Further, while the cost of electric golf cart servicing seems cheaper than the petrol cart servicing in the short term, you will find yourself in a situation after a couple of years, where you will have to buy new batteries to maintain the value and usefulness of your (electric golf cart) assets; in addition to the cost of Eskom power; this is why electric golf carts end up being more expensive in reality.

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