Using a small generator as the power source?


New Member
I'm curious about the possibility of using a small portable generator as a supplemental or even as a primary power source for an electric cart. These "Inverter" style generators, made so popular by Honda, are very quiet and lightweight and can generate 1000-3000 watts. There are also some chinese knock-offs that are much less expensive and probably lower quality, though I have been considering taking a chance on one of them.

It occurred to me that it would be great to have one on the back of the golf cart in case it runs low on juice far from a power source. And it seems like maybe it would be possible to run the cart directly from the generator without even having batteries onboard - or possibly with just one battery and/or capacitor to help stabilize the power draw.


Well-Known Member
You could charge the pack with one of those, but it would take the same time as at home, 6 to 15 hours.

Carts require a DC power source capable of delivering 250 amps instantaneously, and about 40 to 60 amps during flat cruising. The Honda generator cannot fill this role.


New Member
COPB: I THINK the generators produce 12VDC and then send it thru an inverter to get the 120VAC.

Gornoman: Thanks for the info, that pretty much answers my question perfectly.

I just checked the specs on the honda EU3000 and it is only set up to provide about 12A @ 12VDC. The other option I was picturing in my mind - using a transformer and rectifier to convert the AC output back to DC - would still only result in a theoretical maximum of 3000W/36V = 83 A. The 1000W version would have a theoretical maximum of less than 28A @ 36V.

I do really like the idea of a hybrid golf cart and I'm sure it's feasible but it would probably need to be engineered from the ground up rather than patched together from existing consumer products.


Active Member
Its a lot like diesel-electric train locomotives. Diesel engine powering a generator down to either AC or DC electric motors on the axles. I was wondering when someone would suggest that. A lot more yard switchers are going to Gen-sets.