Compare electric cart motors using criteria such as voltage, horsepower output, torque and peak speed. Generally, the higher the horsepower, torque and peak speed of a motor, the higher its voltage requirements are.
Electric cart motors, which typically come in 36 or 48-volt models, are powered by different configurations of 6, 8 or 12-volt batteries in an electric cart. Generally 36-volt electric motors utilize six 6-volt batteries, while 48-volt motors operate with either six 8-volt or four 12-volt batteries.
The horsepower output of motors varies significantly by brand and type. Motors range from 7.6 to 16.5 horsepower on electric cart parts sales websites such as Golf Cart Catalog and D&D Motor Systems. The first site also features three models with lower 3.32 to 5 horsepower outputs and higher speeds. Electric cart motors can operate carts at speeds of 12 to 24 miles per hour, depending on the cart body and motor used. Higher torque models have lower speeds, and vice versa.
The voltage draw of electric cart motors is directly proportional to the battery life of the cart. Higher-draw motors typically use more and larger batteries, achieving a longer overall charge life. Some 48-volt cart motors are more efficient than their 36-volt counterparts, according to the Golf Cart Wholesale website.