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Unread 08-24-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
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Default Battery info (Great article)

I gained alot of info reading this!

8 Volt Golf Cart Battery: The Top Six
Should you go with the 8 volt golf cart battery, or put some other type in your electric car? Here's a comparison of the most popular ones, a warning, and a word or two of advice from an expert.

Advantages of the 8 volt golf cart battery for your EV
Less initial cost. If you're operating on a shoestring, this might make the difference between getting your electric car on the road and leaving it, nearly complete, littering up the garage.
Lighter weight. Typical car-load of 8-volt golf cart batteries will weigh 1000-1200 pounds, rather than 1200-1600 pounds if you use the same overall voltage of 6-volt batteries. For example: Powering a 120 volt system means using 20 six volt batteries, or 15 eight volt batteries. Fifteen 8v batteries weigh less than 20 6v golf cart batteries, overall. If you're pushing your weight limit already, this may be a consideration.
DISadvantages of the 8 volt golf cart battery for your EV
Shorter life. Amp hours are heavy, and deep-cyclable electrode plates are heavy; since the amp hours in these 8 volt batteries are reasonably comparable to their 6 volt counterparts (although see next item on the list!), this can only mean that the electrode plates are somewhat less sturdy...which means you can't charge and discharge them as many times as their six volt cousins before they refuse to recharge again. This is the cycle life of a battery, and in general, the cycle life of an 8 volt golf cart battery is shorter than that of a 6 volt golf cart battery.
Range is shorter. Lead is fuel, and it's heavy. Less weight means less lead...and less lead means less miles. Additionally, and for reasons only the physics-minded among us can fully appreciate (that's not me!), the 8 volt batteries can be drained faster by a lead FOOT than the 6 volt variety, leaving you with fewer miles than you might like.
Are you wondering about 12 volt batteries, then, why they weren't mentioned in this discussion? It's because the "Lead Foot Factor" I just mentioned becomes a REAL issue with 12 volt batteries. These are usually reserved for either AC drive systems, which use batteries more conservatively, or EV racers who are simply looking to pour as many amps into their electric motors for the quarter-mile as quickly as possible. They don't care if the range is stunted by the drivers lead foot, just as long as they win; )

Most popular 8 volt golf cart batteries used in electric cars
Two major brands of 8 volt golf cart battery dominate with respect to EV popularity: Trojan, with their most popular T-875, the leader by far, and their T-860 (less AH) and T-890 (more AH); and US Battery with their 8VGC family.

Trojan T-875 8 volt golf cart battery These don't come in the preferred L-terminal type, so be aware of this before you decide on an 8-volt battery format.

Rate of Discharge: 295 min. @ 25 amps -- ? @ 75 amps
Amp-Hours (AH): 145 AH @ 5 hr. rate, 170 @ 20 hr. rate
Weight: 63 lbs.
Dimensions: 10 3/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 10 7/8 in.
Cycle Life: 650 cycles



The Trojan website isn't too forthcoming with cycle life information for these (I got "650 cycles" from a discussion on the EVDL), nor rate of discharge at 75 amps (which is the rate that matters more to EV drivers).

Trojan T-860 8 volt golf cart battery

Rate of Discharge: No info
Amp-Hours (AH): 125 AH @ 5 hr. rate, 150 AH @ 20 hr. rate
Weight: 56 lbs.
Dimensions: 10 3/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 10 7/8 in.
Cycle Life: 650 cycles



Trojan T-890 8 volt golf cart battery

Rate of Discharge: 340 min. @ 25 amps -- ? @ 75 amps
Amp-Hours (AH): 155 AH @ 5 hr. rate, 190 AH @ 20 hr. rate
Weight: 69 lbs.
Dimensions: 10 3/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 10 7/8 in.
Cycle Life: 650 cycles



The US Battery 8VGC comes in three flavors, depending on the number of amp hours you want. More amp hours means more lead, so the higher the AH, the heavier and more expensive they are.

US Battery 8VGCE-XC

Rate of Discharge: 230 min. @ 25 amps -- 60 @ 75 amps
Amp-Hours (AH): 121 AH @ 20 hr. rate
Weight: No info
Dimensions: 10 1/4 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 11 1/4 in.
Cycle Life: 650 cycles



US Battery 8VGC-XC

Rate of Discharge: 337 min. @ 25 amps -- 90 @ 75 amps
Amp-Hours (AH): 170 AH @ 20 hr. rate
Weight: 64 lbs.
Dimensions: 10 1/4 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 11 1/4 in.
Cycle Life: 650 cycles


US Battery 8VGCHC-XC Rate of Discharge: 345 min. @ 25 amps -- 95 @ 75 amps
Amp-Hours (AH): 183 AH @ 20 hr. rate
Weight: 70 lbs.
Dimensions: 10 1/4 in. x 7 1/8 in. x 11 1/4 in.
Cycle Life: 650 cycles



Expert Opinion: Northwest Golf Carts
I called up the owner of Northwest Golf Carts, Inc. here in Seattle this morning to ask him a few questions about the different 8 volt golf cart batteries available for sale.

He says that, in his 18 years of experience in the business, he's found the Trojan 8 volt and the US Battery 8 volt batteries to last pretty much an identical length of time (cycle life) if you take care of them properly. He emphasized the point about taking care of them properly. This means keeping the water and the charge topped up! Remember, lead-acid is too stupid to have a memory, so you DON'T have to let them drain every once in a while, and it's not recommended.

The Trojans cost a lot because of their name, but USB's are just as good and cost a little less. He said that Trojan doesn't honor their warranty as religiously as US Battery, and this is a good enough reason to get the US Batteries instead. US Battery is great with their battery warranty.

Warning!
Exide batteries are cheaper than the Trojans and US Battery 8 volt golf cart batteries, so a lot of folks are tempted to buy them to save money; but in the NW Golf Carts, Inc. owner's opinion, it's a waste of money. You get what you pay for.

He says that Sears, Les Schwab, and Napa all market Exide batteries under their own brand, but they are just as...cheap, shall we say? as the ones with the Exide label.

What about Interstates, I asked.

He said, "Those ARE US Batteries. Go ahead."

Many thanks for the info!
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