8 Volt Lithium and Lead-Acid Golf Cart Batteries
Lead-acid and lithium batteries are both made in BCI Groups GC2/GC2H (6 Volt) and GC12 (12 Volt) sizes, but what about BCI Group GC8/GC8H (8 Volt) batteries?
Are there 8-volt lithium and lead-acid golf cart batteries?
Here is our attempt to answer this question and to clarify a few things about not only lithium golf cart batteries but also about lithium batteries in general.
Updated: August 24, 2023.
Electric Vehicles Battery Group Sizes
The most popular battery groups used for propulsion of electric vehicles, including golf carts are 6 Volt BCI Group GC2/GC2H, 8 Volt BCI Group GC8/GC8H, and 12 Volt BCI Group GC12. Their dimensions are as follows:
- 6 Volts Group GC2: 10 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches (264 x 183 x 277 mm),
- 6 Volts Group GC2H: 10 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 11 5/8 inches (264 x 183 x 295 mm),
- 8 Volts Group GC8: 10 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches (264 x 183 x 277 mm),
- 8 Volts Group GC8H: 10 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 11 5/8 inches (264 x 183 x 295 mm),
- 12 Volts Group GC12: 12 7/8 x 7 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches (327 x 183 x 277 mm).
Of course, other battery sizes are used as well.
As one can see, the nominal voltages of these batteries are based on the nominal voltage of a single lead-acid battery cell - 2 Volts.
So, the number of lead-acid cells is:
- 6 Volts Group GC2/GC2H: 3 cells,
- 8 Volts Group GC8: 4 cells,
- 12 Volts Group GC12: 6 cells.
Lead-Acid Batteries Chemistries
Lead-acid batteries share the same battery chemistry, but they differ in electrolyte type and sometimes in the plate material.
- Wet/flooded lead-acid batteries feature electrolytes in the liquid form - diluted sulfuric acid is poured between the battery plates. Wet/flooded lead-acid batteries are not maintenance-free batteries, and they must be positioned upside down.
- Gel-Cell lead-acid batteries feature electrolytes in the form of gel - diluted sulfuric acid is mixed with silica and forms a gel.
- Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) lead-acid batteries feature electrolytes suspended in glass mats between the battery plates.
Gel-Cell and AGM batteries are generally maintenance-free batteries that may operate when placed upside down and on the side, with some models supporting operation even when positioned upside down.
Lead-acid batteries are offered as 6V, 8V, and 12V batteries and can be used to easily create 12V, 16V, 18V, 24V, 36V, 48V, etc. battery packs.
Lithium Batteries Chemistries
Lithium batteries feature several different chemistries, often "hidden" behind abbreviations like IMR, INR, IFR, ICR, etc...
These abbreviations describe actual battery chemistry:
- IMR lithium batteries feature LiMn204 (Lithium Manganese Oxide) chemistry. Their nominal voltage is 3.6 - 3.7 V per cell, with a maximum recommended charging voltage of 4.2 V. IMR batteries commonly have a smaller capacity but are capable of delivering larger currents.
- INR lithium batteries feature LiNiMnCoO2 (Lithium Manganese Nickel) chemistry. These batteries are very similar to IMR batteries since they can provide plenty of currents with slightly lower capacity.
- IFR lithium batteries feature LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) chemistry. Their nominal voltage is 3.2 - 3.3 V per cell, with the maximum recommended charging voltage of 3.5 - 3.6 V.
- ICR lithium batteries feature LiCoO2 (Lithium Cobalt Oxide) chemistry. Their nominal voltage is 3.6 - 3.7 V per cell, with the maximum recommended charging voltage of 4.2 V. They commonly have higher capacities, but maximum allowed currents are often limited to just a few C.
Note: there are other chemistries on the market, too, including hybrid technologies like Lithium Nickel Cobalt Oxide (LiNiCoO2), Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2), etc.
Although Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry (LiFePO4) features a somewhat lower voltage (3.2 volts per cell), it is the safest lithium battery chemistry and is used for making high-capacity deep-cycle and even starting lithium batteries, with the built-in Battery Management System (BMS) being mandatory.
With 3.2 volts per cell, LiFePO4 chemistry can be used to make:
- 2 cells: 6.4 volts batteries,
- 3 cells: 9.6 volts batteries,
- 4 cells: 12.8 volts batteries, often labeled as 12 volts batteries,
- 8 cells: 25.6 volts batteries, often labeled as 24 volts batteries,
- 12 cells: 38.4 volts batteries, often labeled as 36 volts batteries,
- 16 cells: 51.2 volts batteries, often labeled as 48 volts batteries, etc.
But, as one can see, there is no option of making 8-volt lithium batteries - that would be 2.5 x 3.2V cells and that is not a possible option.
So, are there 8-volt lithium golf cart batteries? No, there are no 8-volt lithium golf cart batteries.
Note: in theory, using two 3.7 cells of LiPo batteries, one can create a 7.4V battery, which is very close to 8V, but such batteries would require very expensive BMS to make them safe for not only charging but also for use.
But, since GC2/GC2H batteries are very similar in size to GC8/GC8H batteries, some manufacturers offer lithium GC2 batteries, which don't feature 6V but 12V nominal voltages:
|Model||Battery Chemistry||Voltage (V) / Capacity (Ah)
|Amstron GC2||AGM||6V, 210Ah
475 min @25A; 124 min @75A
|68 lbs; 30.8 kg
|Battle Born BBGC2||LiFePO4||12V, 100Ah
240 min @25A
|31 lbs; 14.1 kg
|Fullriver DC224-6 GC2||AGM||6V, 224Ah
441 min @25A; 113 min @75A
|70 lbs; 31.7 kg
|Mighty Max ML200-6||AGM||6V, 200Ah
|63.5 lbs; 28.8 kg
|NPP NP6-225Ah||AGM||6V, 225Ah
|68.2 lbs; 30.9 kg
|PowerStar Crown CR220||Flooded/Wet||6V, 220Ah
|~60 lbs; ~27.2 kg
|Trojan T-105||Flooded/Wet||6V, 225Ah
447 min @25A; 115 min @75A
|64 lbs; 29.0 kg
|Trojan T-125||Flooded/Wet||6V, 240Ah
488 min @25A; 132 min @75A
|66 lbs; 29.9 kg
|UPG UBGC2||AGM||6V, 200Ah
|62.4 lbs; 28.3 kg
|U.S. GC2 US2200XC2||Flooded/Wet||6V, 232Ah
474 min @25A; 122 min @75A
|61.8 lbs; 28.0 kg
|VMAX LFPGC2-12175XTR||LiFePO4||12V, 175Ah
420 min @25A
|38.5 lbs; 17.5 kg
|VMAX V6-225 GC-2||AGM||6V, 225Ah
500 min @25A; 125 min @75A
|72 lbs; 32.6 kg
|VMAX XTR6-235 GC-2||AGM||6V, 235Ah
500 min @25A; 130 min @75A
|78 lbs; 35.3 kg
Note: Amazon links in the chart ('Model' column) open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date prices and offers.
12V lithium GC2 batteries may be connected in series in order to create battery packs with 24V, 36V, and 48V.
Note: when connecting lithium batteries in series and/or parallel, always connect them as instructed by their manufacturer.
8 Volt Lithium and Lead-Acid Golf Cart Batteries Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about 8-volt lithium and lead-acid golf cart batteries and electric vehicle batteries in general.
Can I use 8-volt batteries in my 6-volt golf cart?
Generally speaking - NO, a single 8-volt battery cannot be used instead of a single 6-volt battery. Due to voltage difference, something can get damaged or worse.
However, if the golf cart features a 24V or 48V electric system, it is possible to replace four 6-volt batteries with three 8-volt batteries (24V battery pack) and to replace eight 6-volt batteries with six 8-volt batteries (48V battery pack).
But, such replacement can cause some issues as well.
How long do 8-volt golf cart batteries last?
It all depends on the battery quality, their use, maintenance, charging, and similar. On average, 8-volt golf cart batteries may last from 2 to 5 years, sometimes more.
Note: 8-volt batteries are lead-acid batteries - do NOT discharge them too much (down to 50% DoD is just fine, 80% is acceptable, 100% DoD should be avoided), don't leave them discharged, when storing them for a longer period always connect them to the battery maintainer, etc.
Is there an 8-volt golf cart battery?
Yes, these are BCI battery groups Group GC8 (10 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 10 7/8 inches (264 x 183 x 277 mm)) and Group GC8H (10 3/8 x 7 3/16 x 11 5/8 inches (264 x 183 x 295 mm)).
How do you revive an 8-volt golf cart battery?
In order to try to revive an 8-volt golf cart battery, the best course of action is to add distilled water (if the battery is wet/flooded) and to connect it to the advanced battery charger that will analyze the battery and adjust the charging algorithm to suit the battery condition.
Such battery chargers can recharge even deeply discharged batteries (down to 0V), but such deep discharge should be avoided as much as possible!
What are the best golf cart batteries?
Which battery is the "best" depends on the individual needs and preferences. While lithium batteries do cost somewhat more than lead-acid batteries, they are lighter, support a much larger number of charging/discharging cycles, have a lower self-discharge rate, and accept charge faster than lead-acid batteries.
But for vehicles where battery pack weight is not an issue and where batteries don't cycle a lot, lead-acid batteries are cheaper and, generally speaking, a better choice.
How do you charge 8-volt golf cart batteries?
8-volt batteries should be recharged as part of the battery pack - if the battery pack features 24V, then the battery pack should be recharged using a 24V battery charger.
How to charge 6-volt golf cart batteries with a 12-volt charger?
When two exactly the same 6-volt batteries are connected in series, they create a 12V battery pack that can be recharged using a 12V battery charger.
Can you put 8-volt batteries in a 36-volt golf cart?
Physically, 8-volt batteries maybe can fit a 36-volt golf cart battery compartment, but four 8-volt batteries create a 32V battery pack, and five 8-volt batteries create a 40V battery pack.
When the 36V vehicle uses a 32V battery pack, the electric motors can't provide as much power as before:
PMot = UBat2 / R
So, if the battery pack voltage is changed from 36V to 32V, the output power is decreased down to ~80% of nominal power.
Similarly, if the voltage is changed from 36V to 40V, the output power is increased up to ~123% of nominal power - this may lead to a faster and more agile golf cart, but it can also damage/destroy electric motors and the onboard electronics.
For short, don't use 8-vol batteries in a 36-vol golf cart ...
How fast does a golf cart go?
The speed of a golf cart can vary based on its make, model, age, and any modifications or upgrades that might have been applied to it. However, here are some general guidelines:
- Standard Golf Carts: Most stock golf carts that are sold for use on golf courses have top speeds of around 12 to 14 mph (19 to 22.5 km/h).
- Street-Legal Golf Carts: Some golf carts are designed to be street-legal and generally have higher speeds. These can often reach speeds of up to 20 to 25 mph (32 to 40 km/h) or slightly more.
- Modified Golf Carts: Some enthusiasts modify their golf carts for greater speed. Depending on the nature and extent of modifications, these carts can reach speeds well above the stock capabilities, sometimes even up to 30 mph (48 km/h) or more.
If you're curious about a specific brand or model, it's best to consult the manufacturer's specifications or the golf cart's manual.
How do I know what batteries to get for my golf cart?
Check the golf cart's manual for the type (almost always a deep cycle battery), chemistry (lead-acid, lithium), number, voltage, capacity, and other parameters of the battery pack that came with your golf cart.
When replacing old batteries with new ones, check the manufacturer's recommendations - usually, stay with the same number of the same size batteries of the same chemistry and of the same or better capacity.
Switching from lead-acid to lithium batteries may improve performances of the golf cart, but usually, one also needs an additional battery charger - a few more modifications are also probably required, but they are out of the scope of this article.