Golf Cart Battery Charger
Can you use a golf cart battery charger for an electric car, or are they different?
Hi, L.T. -
Are golf cart battery chargers somehow different than electric car battery chargers? The answer is no, assuming your car uses golf cart batteries. After all, that's what the golf cart battery charger was designed to charge.
The problem is that your electric car usually has higher voltage than the golf cart! The usual voltage for golf carts is 36-48 volts, while the usual voltage for homebuilt electric cars is 96-144 volts. It might seem perfectly logical to split your battery pack, then, and use two golf cart chargers. Can this be done?
Word around the EV Discussion List is...yes. There's a certain amount of disagreement on how this should be done (Wire the chargers in series? Split the battery pack and charge each with a different charger? Connect them mid-pack?), but there's mostly agreement on this one issue; smart chargers won't work together in series...and most golf cart battery chargers are smart chargers.
Splitting the battery pack, if it's not too clear, means disconnect half the batteries and charging them by themselves; if you've got a 96 volt pack, that's 16 6v batteries, right? Then 16 batteries can be split into two 8 battery groups, 48v each, which you can then charge separately on a 48v battery charger.