Low Speed Electric Vehicles (LSEVs) have enjoyed longtime popularity on the golf course. In recent years, they're increasingly being adopted for personal use. As more and more people rely on these small vehicles for getting around and enjoying their outdoor activities, the battery you choose to power your line of LSEVs will make all the difference in how the end-user sees the value of their investment.
Why Low Speed Electric Vehicles are gaining traction
Low Speed Electric Vehicles are booming in popularity. While becoming widespread in China, an increasing number of U.S. homeowners are buying these as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) for quick errands, going to the beach, and for nights out on the town.
LSEVs are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, ideal for brief trips, and because they travel at no more than 25 mph, they require no license to operate. Best of all, all you need is a simple electrical outlet to recharge the battery. All these factors make these NEVs ideal for getting around close to home.
Without a doubt, their conveniences and advantages are fueling the expected growth in global sales in the next five years. By 2026, sales of LSEVs are projected to reach $4 billion, versus the $2.7 billion in 2020, according to 360 Research Reports.
The lithium-ion advantage in golf carts
The battery-operated engine in LSEVs makes these vehicles safe, easy to operate, and convenient for commercial and personal use. Yet when you compare a golf cart that uses traditional lead-acid batteries versus more efficient and advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, one thing becomes clear: Battery type makes a world of difference in the user experience.
The following will detail the advantages of a Li-ion golf cart battery as a lead-acid battery replacement, along with the top features of the Inventus Power PROTRXion battery & battery management system (BMS).
No monthly watering
Lead-acid batteries require monthly watering to replenish the electrolyte fluid that keeps the battery functional and at peak levels. The labor and hassle make this option less attractive to any end-user, whether it’s a commercial fleet manager or an individual. Not only that, but monthly watering creates opportunities for human error and damage, which will certainly detract from the experience and value of these carts.
Extended battery life
Maintaining battery charge is a major issue for lead-acid batteries. Whether the LSEV is put away for the winter, or simply sits idle for a week or more, the battery is slowly leaking out its charge (discharge). This creates a couple of important problems that diminish the lead-acid battery's reliability:
- The first is the lack of information about lead-acid battery health makes it difficult for the user to know just how much “juice” (runtime) they really have for their next trip.
- The second problem occurs when a vehicle is stored for several months, say, the winter season, long enough for the battery to completely drain. Certainly, a lead-acid battery can be recharged. However, total depletion is problematic because it causes the battery to lose capacity (capacity fade).
Plug and play
Lead-acid batteries are an attractive option for Low Speed Electric Vehicles because they cost less than Li-ion batteries. But when you measure its overall performance against Li-ion, there’s no comparison.
The average replacement cycle for lead-acid in the average five-year lease is two to three times. However, one Li-ion battery can extend the life of a golf cart. In fact, the advanced battery technology of Li-ion batteries gives them enough staying power that could extend into a second generation of use. In a refurbished LSEV, the original Li-ion battery can potentially come with another two or three years of life in it.
Lead-acid battery-powered LSEVs provide little to no detail on how much charge is left in the battery which creates uncertainly and can negatively affect the user experience. Several problems could occur such as:
- Abrupt stopping while the cart is in use
- Getting stranded and having to call for a tow
- Unoptimized charging leading to shortened battery life. (Some people get into the habit of opportunity charging, which means they top off their battery instead of going for that long, deep charge that optimizes lead-acid battery life.)
The technology in a battery management system (BMS), which operates a Li-ion battery, eliminates these issues. Li-ion batteries can provide battery state-of-health data which tells how much energy remains in the battery. The user will know if they have enough capacity to make it to and from their destination or if the battery needs to recharge. Overall, the intelligence of the BMS can help extend battery life and create a better experience for the user.
Inventus Power PROTRXion Series for Lead-Acid Battery Replacement
Inventus Power PROTRXion batteries provide the intelligence and design an LSEV driver needs, which makes owning these small electric carts functional, cost-effective and enjoyable.
Swappable: PROTRXion batteries are designed as a simple drop-in replacement for applications that are designed for lead-acid batteries.
Water and weather resistance: PROTRXion batteries are designed to comply with IP65 standards, and IP67 when mated, sealing off the battery from exposure to rain, snow, wind, and pressure washing.
Rugged: PROTRXion batteries were designed and tested to withstand rigorous vibration and shock. If the driver hits a pothole or drives on rough terrain, the battery components will be shielded from damage due to the unique design.
Easy installation: A PROTRXion battery, like the M-48V60-TRX, weighs a fraction as much as a lead-acid battery, requiring no special equipment to lift or drop into the battery housing. It’s light enough for one person to handle the battery change and features a retractable pull-handle to aid in handling.
Scalable: When more power or capacity is needed for a wider range or longer run time, the battery management system can accommodate two or even three more PROTRXion batteries in series or parallel configuration.
Intelligent insights: New technology and algorithms work intelligently with the charging system and can provide useful data to help users/operators understand the lifecycle of their battery. This is important whether you are managing a fleet of golf carts or own a vehicle for personal use.