By Marc Gelbke In my previous editorials, we’ve covered and discussed the importance of a golf cart fleet, and last month we covered how to determine an appropriate golf cart fleet size for your facility. To continue along this all-too-important topic for managers, we will be going over what you should consider when it comes to comparing between electric and gasoline-powered golf carts, and which one to choose for your facility. Today, roughly 56 percent of golf carts in use are electric and 44 percent are gas-powered. My personal opinion is that both types, if maintained properly, will perform well and satisfy your customers. In terms of leasing and interest rates, both are going to be the same in most cases, so deciding one type over the other can be a difficult choice you have to make, and can come down to personal preference and maybe on the type of cart that has traditionally been used at your facility in the past. Some differences in the type of carts to take into consideration are that electric carts are quieter and don’t emit fumes. Electric carts are also simpler from a mechanical standpoint, but don’t provide nearly as much power as gas carts, which can be an important decision-maker when managing a facility that is very hilly. Gas-powered carts are extremely reliable, and, as mentioned before, have a higher range of power than electric carts. They also don’t require special electric hookups and battery-charging equipment, and are lighter than electric carts and are less likely to damage your course. In relation to operating costs, they are hard to compare and can depend on a variety of factors such as condition of the cart, characteristics of the course, and local differences in cost of electricity and gasoline. When taking the cost of batteries into account, electric carts can be slightly more expensive to operate on a per-round basis; however, gas carts can cost more to maintain. Both types have pros and cons and should be weighed in relation to your specific location, budget available, needs, and preferences of the facility’s members and guests. As you can see, it is important for managers to be informed, knowledgeable and confident in their decision, especially when mangers have to make recommendations to facility owners.
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