It is a sun sport, at least in theory, so why not let the sun work for you? Next week, SolarCarts, a Florida-based concern, will introduce Sun Eagle, a system that retrofits an electric golf cart to one that keeps the battery charged via solar power.
"We pop off the plastic roof, mount the Sun Eagle and wire it to the existing battery bank on the cart," said Jon LoBello, executive vice president of SolarCarts. "As it drives or when it's stopped it's contstantly recharging."
The Sun Eagle is compatible with EZGO, Club Car and Tomberlin carts and the company said that it would custom make one for any other brand at no additional cost.
With the Sun Eagle, golf cart owners virtually would never have to plug the cart in again to recharge the battery. "What we will suggest if you drive it long distances, it's probably best to plug it in at night," LoBello said. "Batteries like to be topped off -- we say nourished -- just to protect the batteries. One of the benefits of the solar is that it extends to life of the battery."
Solar Carts is targeting private users and golf courses, though the company acknowledges that to retrofit a fleet of carts at a course would entail a sizeable capital investment. Eventually, it would like to work directly with golf cart manufacturers.
The company is offering a summer special, $999 during a six-week period for the first 100 orders, with the stipulation that the installation must take place in Florida.
-- John Strege