Is this time to say bye bye to nitro?


I remember my first nitro vehicle; a second hand Team Associated RC10GT “tub chassis” powered by an OS .12 CZ engine. I also remember all the excitement when I started the engine for the first time. There was nothing like the sound and the power of a nitro engine, the smell and the smoke coming out of the tuned pipe to boost my adrenaline. Now, with all those years I still love nitro engines but I’m a little bit tired of charging my receiver packs, my glow starter and my starter box, or being always looking for a perfectly tuned carburetor, cleaning the air filters, inspecting the clutch and the bearings and I don’t talk about all the mess inside the vehicle caused by the nitro fuel. Maybe I’m getting too old or I’m looking for the simplicity of the plug and play electric vehicles. After all, there are more batteries to charge in a nitro vehicle than in an electric vehicle!
Yes, I think electric vehicles are much simpler. Charge the battery pack and go. This is what I have in mind when I think about electric vehicles. One and only one battery pack is enough to power your entire vehicle. OK, you’re right, two battery packs for some 1/8 scale buggies/truggies or monster trucks on the market. Two battery technologies are common on the market. The NiMH batteries are still popular but are slowly (not to say relatively fast) losing popularity to LiPo batteries. Personally, I still use NiMH battery packs for my receiver packs and for my son’s Wheely King. I keep using them for their ease of charging, simplicity and stability.

There are few things that stop me for putting all my money into a 1/8 brushless/LiPo vehicle. The first one is the price; LiPo battery packs are relatively expensive. A good 7.4v (2S) pack is around 100$us and I need at least four (or two 4S packs) of them for a total of 400$us. This is the price of an excellent race nitro engine. My charger can charge LiPo so I’m OK for the charger but I’ll have to buy another one so I can charge two packs at the same time, let’s say 150$us. Now I need a brushless electric motor and an ESC… Yet another 300$us. So, if I want to switch to LiPo at this moment, I’ll have to spend 850$us excluding the price of the vehicle or the conversion kit. That’s a lot of money!

Will I sell all my nitro stuff to only run LiPo? The answer is NO! Nitro still so much fun to run. I still have too much excitement when I nail the throttle in a straightway and I hear the engine screams. It makes me forget about all those batteries I had to charge to make my nitro 1/8 buggy run. On another hand, it doesn’t mean I will not get a LiPo/Brushless race 1/8 buggy soon. There are very interesting electric 1/8 buggies on the market that I can’t stop to look at!

3 Replies to “Is this time to say bye bye to nitro?”

  1. you said exactly what I think
    is so clean
    is so easy to blow the tires
    I can’t stop watching

    the electric buggy’s are faster than the nitro at
    my track SANAIR, Fast Lap Racing

    PhilT

  2. While I do agree the start up cost are pretty high for electric once you have what you need you dont have to buy anything except repair parts and hop ups , no more fuel or glow plugs . A gallon of 20% cost 28-35 dollars by me and plugs have gone up too almost 9 dollars per plug .

    I estimated one year that I bought 12 gallons of fuel and probably 4-5 plugs , that comes to about 400 for fuel and plugs for a year . I am still running LiPo’s that I bought 2 years ago ! And everytime I plug my car in I know its gonna run the same way it did the previous run , no tuning ! Some say they like doing it , I think its a hassle myself . Not too mention the electric motors will out last the nitro engines and when they do need rebuilding you just replace 2 bearings .

    Not that I dont like nitro , its still very fun too do and I still own a few nitro R/C’s , but my electrics now get the most runtime out of my collection .

    BTW the battery cost have fallen drasticly the past 2 years , you can now get decent 2s packs for less than 50 dollars , a 4s for less than 90 , cheaper if you are willing to buy from Hong Kong .

    In my opinion NOW is the time to go electric !

  3. You’re right, LiPo is cheaper than never.

    I’m sold to LiPo for 1/10 but I wait a little bit for 1/8. I wish I can get a full 30 minutes of runtime on 4S and a little less overheating.

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