How To Determine 12 Volt Operating Amperage For Your Golf Cart Voltage Reducer

If you own a golf cart and want to run other DC powered accessories you will need a golf cart voltage reducer.

About voltage on golf carts

Most if not all DC powered accessories operate on 12 volts DC. That means 12 volts not 11.2v or 10.5v or any other number. Just 12 volts (some accessories or devices will allow for a surge or drop in voltage momentarily but not constantly or consistently).

Operating voltage

The operating voltage for a device or accessory is exactly that  – “The Operating Voltage”. Otherwise the performance of  your device or accessories will be intermittent as is your voltage. You ever experience listening to a song that is having problems streaming due to a bad signal? The voltage a 12 volt accessory will need to perform optimally is no different. You just cannot see it sometimes as with the example of listening to the song will allow you to notice quite quickly.

Clean voltage

Clean voltage is required to operate any 12 volt accessory optimally and this is where a voltage reducer comes into play. Your needs, or installed accessories on your golf cart, will determine the 12 volt accessory systems operating amperage and ultimately determine the correct golf cart voltage reducer for your application.

The impact of accessories

Examples of accessories which might make a difference are things like head lights, tail lights (lights in general), stereo systems, cooling fans, USB chargers for your cell phones etc…

How to determine the operating amperage

So lets get to it! Really it is quite simple. You can just add up all the things you have attached to your golf cart that operate on 12 volts and find out the amperage each device or product pulls.


Most lighting systems (headlights-tail lights/brake lights) for your golf cart these days are LED light kits and require far less amperage to operate 5-6 amps at best. Whereas older-style halogen bulbs pulled a lot more (15-18 amps).

Stereo systems

As far as stereo systems go it will be determined by several things not just the head unit or stereo radio (stereo systems with large amplifiers will require a lot of amperage and usually best to just install a totally separate high power Deep cycle 12 volt battery to handle the stereo systems needs.)

Charging points

All other accessories like 12 volt plugs for a phone/USB charger will be minimal at best and should be able to use either 10 Amp, 18 Amp, 20 Amp or 30 Amp voltage reducers.

Allow for more

I always assume the worst case scenario and want to make sure the electrical system can handle the surge of amperage required should all accessories be operated simultaneously within the vehicle or vessels system. It is always a good idea to keep a little extra reserve in place when it comes to the operating amperage of a circuit and not  to push up against the systems’ or devices’ limits.

The golf cart voltage reducer you choose should meet the needs required and leave a little room in amperage capacity should you decide to add an additional load or additional accessories you might add in the future.

Different models and systems

The actual voltage reduction will be determined by the golf carts battery bank and current operating voltage. Gem cars, Polaris or Tomberlins use a 72 volt system. Club Car, Evgo and Yamaha run either 48 volt or 36 volt systems.

If you already know the operating voltage you can now purchase the correct golf cart voltage reducer for your golf cart.

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