Nitro or Electric?
This debate has been going on for as long as I can recall. It is as heated and disputed as any presidential race can be. It’s a personal choice. There is no better or worse in this field. It is merely a preference. Both have their pros and both have their con’s.
Let’s first look at the nitro side. The top two reasons I have found people prefer nitro are run time and the sound. You can’t mimic the sweet sound of a finely tuned nitro engine. It screams as it flies by you and when it changes gears, it is like your favorite song playing in the background. I apologize to all the fans of electric RC’s, but that can’t be debated. The other reason is run time. This one is a bit more debatable. Nitro cars run longer because you simply refill the tank and keep running. Yes, I know you can simply plug in a new rechargeable battery and keep the electric running, but unless you have an unlimited supply of charged batteries, you will have to stop and wait for one to recharge, and yes I know you must let the engine cool at some point. But it is easier to add more fuel when you are really enjoying yourself than to stop and wait for a battery to charge. The con’s include additional maintenance, cleaning, tuning, and the smell that some people don’t particularly enjoy (I’m not one of them). If you enjoy tuning, cleaning and are comfortable with basic maintenance, these are not really con’s to worry about. If these are things you don’t like, then you might want to consider the electrics.
Now, let’s take a look at the electrics. They are a great way for somebody to get started in this wonderful hobby. It is generally less expensive to start with a RTR electric vehicle and can be upgraded and modified as the person becomes both familiar and comfortable with the speed and handling. I have found that the electrics are also a great way for parents to enjoy the hobby with their children. The parent uses a powerful LiPo battery and enjoys the full speed and power, while the child uses a Nimh battery with less power giving them less speed and easier handling. There is relatively no maintenance involved (other than repairing after a crash), hardly any cleanup, and the only tuning involved is programming the ESC’s on the more advanced models. The charge to run time ratio is a bit high, but nowhere as high as it was in the past. Quick chargers and LiPo batteries have allowed us run times of over 30 minutes and charge times of under an hour.
There is no better vehicle; it is simply what you prefer. There is no right choice, just choose the vehicle you like best and go have fun!