How to upgrade your golf cart to lithium batteries - Dakota Lithium Batteries

How to upgrade your golf cart to lithium batteries

What type of battery do I need to run my golf cart?

Most electric golf carts operate with any deep cycle 36-volt or 48-volt battery system. Most golf carts arrive from the factory with lead acid 6 volt, 8 volt, or 12 volt batteries wired in series* to make a 36V or 48V system. For the longest run time, lowest maintenance costs, and longest lifespan we recommend upgrading to lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. For maximum weight savings we recommend either 12V DL+ 60 Ah batteries wired in series, or a single 48V battery like this one. Here’s 8 reasons why:

  1. Dakota Lithium LiFePO4 batteries will provide double to triple the run time. More run time means more freedom on and off the green.
  2. Dakota Lithium batteries last longer and will need to be replaced less often. Providing peace of mind and greater lifetime value.
  3. All Dakota Lithium golf cart batteries have an 11 year warranty and lifetime customer service. This means you always have someone to call if you need help or advice when upgrading your vehicle or if your run into trouble down the road.
  4. A set of Dakota Lithium weighs 1/4 as much as a set of lead acid golf cart batteries, allowing you to cut 300 lbs or more off your cart. Less weight means more maneuverability and speed. Experience better golf cart handling, less wear & tear, and lower maintenance costs.
  5. Dakota Lithium batteries require no maintenance or watering, can be installed in any orientation, and can charge 5X faster than lead acid. Spend less time on maintenance and more time doing what you love.
  6. Dakota’s lithium iron phosphate batteries discharge down to negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 Celsius) meaning you still have plenty of battery range on cold winter days.
  7. Dakota Lithium batteries have a very low self-discharge rate of <5% and don’t go bad if you don’t use them for a few months. That means you can store you golf cart for the winter and it will still run smoothly when you start it up again in the spring. No more need to replace those heavy dead lead batteries again after a long winter.
  8. You need less batteries when you use a Dakota Lithium. Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) has a flat voltage curve. That means that the voltage does not drop as you use the battery. You get all the juice down to the last drop. Historically if you power a golf cart or electric vehicle with a deep cycle lead acid battery you would only be able to use half of the capacity of the battery before the voltage is too low to run the motor. With Dakota Lithium you can use all of the power of the battery, meaning that a 100 Ah battery from Dakota Lithium is equal to 200 Ah in lead acid batteries.

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*A golf cart battery wiring kit for building 36V or 48V battery systems from 12V batteries is available here

Step 1: What voltage battery does your vehicle’s motor require?

Look in your owner’s manual, google the technical specifications of your vehicle, or find a technical/serial number sticker on your vehicle that lists the voltage of your golf cart. Most golf carts are 36V or 48V. Some larger people movers, and electric vehicles like electric snow mobiles, ATVs, or neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are 72V.

If none of the above yields your voltage, you’ll need to open up the area where your current batteries are and do a bit of simple calculation. Most batteries should have a voltage rating listed on them. Just multiply the voltage of the batteries by the number of batteries in the bank and you’ll get your rated voltage. Ex: Eight 6V batteries would be a 48V system.

If you need any help determining the voltage of your golf cart contact us at with a picture of your battery tray and we can tell you what voltage you need.

Step 2: Choose the same voltage of Dakota Lithium batteries

To upgrade your system to lithium choose the same voltage in Dakota Lithium. Your vehicle’s motor is happy with any voltage as long as it is the same. For example if your golf cart has been running on 36V built out of 6 X 6V lead acid golf cart batteries you can replace it with 3 X 12V Dakota Lithium Plus 60Ah batteries to make 36V.

Motor Voltage | Estimated Battery Range | Recommended Battery | Motor Controller Limit

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Step 3: Determine the amperage rating on your motor controller

Please note: most golf cart owners can skip this step by using 12V DL+ 60 Ah batteries wired in series to make 36V or 48V battery systems (golf cart wiring kit is available here).

Other brands of lithium batteries in the past have had issues with the battery shutting off because their golf cart needed more amps then the battery could provide. By using automotive technology the DL+ line of batteries have over 1,000 cold cranking amps, providing both the high power needed for even the most rugged of golf carts and over 25+ miles of lasting deep cycle performance.

For customers looking to use Dakota Lithium deep cycle batteries, like the Dakota Lithium 12V 100Ah battery or the 48V 96Ah battery, you will need to check your motor controller to confirm that the controller is limited to a max of 200 Amps.

What is a motor controller? The motor controller is a piece of equipment installed between the batteries and the motor (almost like a breaker or fuse) and, as the name suggests, controls the amount of power pulled from the batteries and fed to the motor.

The amperage rating on the motor controller is the maximum amount of amps it will pull at any given time. This is important to know as deep cycle lithium batteries can only provide so much power at once (again, the 12V DL+ 60 Ah batteries are built for automotive applications and do not have this limit).

To find your vehicle’s motor controller rating, you’ll need to consult your owner’s manual, google the technical specifications of your vehicle, or find the motor controller in your system – most motor controllers will have a label on them with their voltage and amperage rating. If you are unsure of the information on the motor controller, feel free to snap a picture and send it over to and our Support team can help interpret the info!

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Step 4: What batteries do I need for my golf cart?

Now that you’ve got your voltage and motor controller rating handy, we can determine what batteries will best fit your vehicle.

Motor Voltage | Estimated Battery Range | Recommended Battery | Motor Controller Limit

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