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Solar golf carts
are golf carts powered by mounting a photovoltaic (PV) or thin film panel on top of the existing roof or using a PV panel as the roof itself. A controller converts the sun's energy to charge the golf cart's 36-volt or 48-volt battery
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...
bank. Not only does the solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...
take the cart off the electric grid, it also increases the driving distance and extends the life of the batteries.
Solar conversion kits have been available for golf carts and Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) for several years. These kits range from low wattage solar battery chargers to a 410-watt array on an 8-passenger transport cart. Buyers can take a solar tax credit
A tax credit is a sum deducted from the total amount a taxpayer owes to the state. A tax credit may be granted for various types of taxes, such as an income tax, property tax, or VAT. It may be granted in recognition of taxes already paid, as a subsidy, or to encourage investment or other behaviors...
of 30% of the purchase price on their US Federal Income Tax
Solar-powered golf carts are popular with owners who drive long distances, such as maintenance workers, golf course fleets, staff at the Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoological Park, commonly known as the Detroit Zoo, is located about north of the Detroit city limits at the intersection of Woodward Avenue, 10 Mile Road, and Interstate 696 in Royal Oak and Huntington Woods, Michigan, USA...
, transportation vehicles in resorts and cities, and drivers of VIP carts on college campuses. High schools have used them as teaching tools for solar power. For the environmentally-conscious and campers and hunters who are away from electrical power, the solar-powered golf cart reduces or eliminates the need to plug in. Converting a golf cart to solar power creates a true solar electric vehicle.