One of the main issues people have with electric cars is that they have very limited range and recharging takes several hours, which is also an issue with street-legal electric golf carts. While driving electric vehicles many people suffer from “range anxiety”, that is, they are fearful of running out of juice and being left stranded. In the above video report Los Angeles Times autos columnist Susan Carpenter takes a street-legal Club Car Villager 2+2 LSV electric golf cart to the Santa Monica Pier to charge it up.
To try to combat this issue, and hopefully lead to a greater uptake of electric vehicles with the public, many cities and municipalities are installing electric charging stations at various convenient locations. This means that you can charge your cart while you've parked it while you have lunch with friends, do some shopping or other errands.
Most electric street legal golf carts have about a 30 mile range and take around 8-12 hours for a full charge. While this range is adequate for short drives around your gated community those who want to venture further afield will need a public charging station. This will require a bit of planning whenever you want to drive into town, but charging station locations are usually found online or through a smartphone app which makes it a lot easier.
The main thing to keep in mind is the type of charging system that your golf cart needs as there are several different types that cover electric road cars and golf carts. The auto industry has adopted a standard charging voltage and connection, a 240V system called J1172, which is being slowly introduced over the next few years.
ChargePass Electric Vehicle Charging System
Most electric golf carts utilize a 120V system, similar to domestic supplies, and you must make sure that your local charging station has this type of charging point. In the video report a ChargePass system is demonstrated which is a subscription service that is used with a keycard for access to the charging point. The payment methods for the electricity charging costs will vary depending on the system and some will charge you through a credit card.
The ChargePass system in the video uses an iPad app to show you all of the charging locations in the US and you are able to see how much electricity has been used during the time that your electric golf cart has been charging. However you will need to check the battery level meter in your cart to check if what level of charge it has.
As electric vehicles become more popular the number of charging stations will no doubt increase, but at the moment they are only located in larger cities and in limited numbers. This shouldn't put you off driving your golf cart more often and with a bit of pre-planning on longer trips it shouldn't pose many problems.
If you used your cart for long journeys please share your experiences with electric charging stations in the comments section below.