What do you want in a golf cart charger? Golf cart batteries are lead-acid batteries that operate at 36 or 48 volts. Like all lead-acid batteries, they must be charged at a specific voltage and amperage levels. They cannot be fast charged — a full charge requires 14 to 16 hours.
You also want a “smart” charger that controls the amount of current that is supplied to the battery, and a timing mechanism that switches between a series of voltage and current levels.
For a cart that’s used for running down to the mailbox, or out to the barn once or twice a day, or any moderate or infrequent use, 12-15 amps is usually sufficient for charger output. For running around the ranch or warehouse all day, or 18 holes of golf, the 20 to 25 amp units would be appropriate.
For more information on batteries and chargers, we recommend this book: Batteries in a Portable World: A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers.
Most Reliable Charger: 36 Volt 12 Amp Dual Pro Eagle Charger
The Eagle 36V Dual Pro Charger is a ruggedly constructed automatic charger, which is made in Nashville, Tennessee. This is an “automatic charger”, which means that after it finishes charging, it switches to a “float” mode, which is a low-voltage maintenance mode. This prevents the battery from being overcharged. This also maximizes battery life, because the maintenance charge prevents a lead-acid battery from internally discharging and sulfating.
The manufacturer, Pro Charging Systems, says they have “20-years of proven performance”, and they emphasize that their chargers are dependable and fully-repairable. The charger handles both flooded (wet) batteries and AGM batteries.
The charger features a charge indicator on the front panel, and includes a 6 foot power cord and an 8 foot charger cord. It comes with a 3 year warranty.
Best Selling Charger: Schauer 36 Volt Golf Cart Battery Charger Crowfoot Connector
This 36 V Schauer Golf Cart Charger is one of the most popular golf cart battery chargers available. It’s a 20 amp charger, and fully automatic, which means that after completing a charge, it will switch to low-level “float” or maintenance charge, to prevent the possibility of overcharging.
This charger comes with a “crowfoot connector”, which look like this:
A switch on the front panel, allows you select “Flooded” or “Wet” (normal lead acid batteries that have caps for checking liquid level) or the AGM type (Sealed) batteries.
This charger is lightweight (13 pounds) aluminum cast unit, and the built-in fan is relatively quiet. It operates on standard household power (117VAC 60 Hz) but can also operate on 240 Volts, in either 50 or 60 Hz frequency.
It comes with an 18 month warranty.
The 36 V Schauer Golf Cart Charger is available from Amazon for $280.
Most Versatile Charger: Battery Tender 36 Volt High Frequency Golf Cart Charger
The Battery Tender 36V Golf Cart Charger is a 15 amp charger. It has a sophisticated 5-step changing mechanism, and it can charge four types of lead-acid batteries (standard, flooded or “wet”, sealed and AGM). The Battery Tender’s 5-step process is microprocessor controlled, and this feature can improve the life and performance of your battery.
The charger also has a technology called “DAC (Deltran Adaptive Charging)” which allows it to adjust for different lead-acid types, namely: standard, flooded and sealed, AGM.
This charger comes with a 2-year warranty.
Here are couple other 36 volt golf cart battery chargers:
48 Volt Golf Cart Battery Chargers
48 Volt 18Ah Dual Pro Charger
Just like the 36 Volt model review above, this 48 Volt, 15 Amp Dual Pro charger is part of the Eagle Performance series of chargers.
It has the same features as 36 Volt model, except it operates at 48 volts and uses the Anderson SB50 connector.
The 48 Volt, 15 Amp Dual Pro charger is available from Amazon for around $334.
Schauer 48 Volt Golf Cart Battery Charger for Club Car Powerdrive
The Schauer 48 Volt Golf Cart Battery Charger for Club Car Powerdrive is similar to the 36 V model we reviewed above.
This charger is a 48 Volt 15 Amp fully automatic (completes the charge cycle and goes to “float” charge) charger. This charger has a front panel switch which allows you select “Flooded” (normal lead acid batteries that have caps for checking liquid level) or the AGM type (Sealed) batteries.
This charger is for Club Car 48 Volt carts made from 1995 to 2005. This charger can be used on later model Club Car 48 volt carts after a simple modification to bypass the Club Car Onboard computer is done.
The Schauer 48 Volt Battery Charger is available from Amazon for about $295.