Nitro or Electric RC: Which is Faster, More Powerful, and More Fun?

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There is this ongoing debate on whether nitro or electric RC is better. Not a simple question to answer. The two RC models differ in many aspects. So, it’s for you to compare and decide.

Now you surely are disputing on which one to choose between nitro vs electric RC?

There are many things that set them apart. For one, the speed, durability, and runtime are much better in nitro RCs. The RC experience is more thrilling with these. It also comes with high maintenance costs. Whereas the electric RC provides you a low cost and maintenance with simple functionality.

Not sure yet? Don’t worry. Because in this article, we have provided a detailed comparison between these two to make the job way easier for you!

So just keep scrolling to find out!

Nitro Vs Electric RC: A Brief Comparison

To get the best RC car experience, you need to choose wisely. Choose the most powerful of them. But there are various options. 

The most popular ones are nitro and electric engines. It is completely okay if you find it hard to choose.

So you need to know about all the factors that make them more or less powerful. Then compare between those to see which one works for you.

To make the task easier for you, we are providing a snapshot below. You can just quickly scan it and compare.

          Factors Nitro RC Electric RC
Runtime Excellent  Depends on battery
            Speed Excellent  Depends on motors and battery
Noise Loud and noisy Less noisy
Maintenance Complex Easier
Price $200-$400 $80-$200

This table should help you do a quick reckoning at a glance. Now let’s move on to the detailed discussion.

An In-depth Comparison Between Nitro Vs Electric RC

You have already gone through the quick comparison. Now it is time to discuss them in depth.

Here we have discussed and compared factors like price, speed, runtime, and maintenance, etc.

An in-depth discussion of every factor would help a lot in weighing down the options.

Nothing too intricate like comparing between traxxas slash 4wd with 2wd

But you can decide a lot better when information is presented in an organized manner. This is exactly what we did!

Go through everything carefully to find out!


Nitro RC cars normally cost more than electric ones. It is not just about the purchasing price either. You have to bear the fuel cost as well. Since you have to regularly refuel the tank. Plus, there is the maintenance cost. 

Most nitro users also prefer upgrading nitro cars. Replacing the stock parts may add a substantial amount to its original price. Some nitro models may also need starter packs, batteries, as well as chargers.

Electric RC cars usually cost somewhat less than the gas-driven nitro models. This entails its initial price as well as the running costs. 

The only thing that electric RC car owners often invest in probably is the extra batteries. Those may be cheap or a bit expensive banking on what brand and type it is. 

The popular electric RC models come ready to run. It means that it possesses everything in the box. So there is nothing much additional stuff to buy.


In terms of maintenance, nitro RC cars are a bit more complex than electric ones. 

Nitro cars usually require regular maintenance and repairs. The cleaner your nitro, the longer it will last. Plus, it will run better as well. Regular maintenance includes things such as cleaning the air and fuel filters, and inspecting glow plugs.

You also require stuff like glow plug igniters and fuel bottles for nitro RC

Nonetheless, many RC fans prefer the involvement they get to have with their nitro RCs. Which they can not get in the electric RCs.

Electric RC cars usually possess fewer parts than the nitro equals. Plus, they tend to be much cleaner. It barely needs any checking. However, the tires need to be changed sometimes. So, maintenance of electric RC is much easier.

However, both nitro and electric RCs have manufacturer manuals that are easy to follow. Hence, you don’t need to be intimidated to buy a nitro for the first time. Many users begin their RC journeys with nitro cars.


Running times can vary for electric cars and are usually lower than the nitros. 

Electric RCs usually depend on batteries. They may range from 10 to 30+ minutes for a single charge. You also need to consider the charging times. However, remember that the charging time depends on the model, charger, and battery. 

They clearly possess a somewhat lower runtime on one term of charging. So, for a higher runtime, you have to recharge the batteries repeatedly to run them. 

On the other hand, For nitro RCs, can provide much longer runtime. As the nitro RC cars need only fuel to run. So you just need to fill the engine with a round of fuel if you run out of power. You don’t need to wait for the battery to recharge to start running again.

The process is not also that complex like cleanflight vs beta flight.

Speed & Functions

The speed of nitro vehicles is usually higher than the electric ones. 

Suppose you invested in a good-quality brushless motor for an electric car. Then the speed may be analogous to that of your nitro RC.

Another aspect of the nitro RC is its noise and smoke. You can not run them indoors due to the fumes. Plus, the noise may disturb the neighbors. Nonetheless, it is precisely what gives you the verismo of RC.

You can operate the electric ones on any track or even off-track. They all function pretty same as how RC toys work normally. Plus, they possess most RC functions. 

However, The nitro models typically lack reverse function. Also, a few tracks might be off-limits for them.

Now you know the contrast between factors. So just go ahead and compare the two based on these factors!

Which One Should You Choose?

In case you prefer having a more involved and active RC experience, go for the nitro. The maintenance job should be thrilling for you in that case. Moreover, It is going to help you understand some mechanical skills as well. Plus, you will learn engine tuning. 

Also, let’s not forget that they provide higher speed and runtime. Plus, a better overall RC experience.

But if you are someone looking for a low-maintenance vehicle, go for the electric RC. They come with most functions. Plus, they are pretty fun to run without extra hassle and cost for maintenance.

Product Name Order Info Product Image
Charger 12V_RC_Chargers
Electric RC Car Electric_RC_Cars
Nitro RC Car Nitro_RC_Car_ High_Speed


Do nitro RC cars need batteries?

No, nitro RCs don’t need batteries. You need to fuel the engine up and ensure that you are using the best fuel for your nitro. It will guarantee a longer runtime. Also, an overall better performance.

Can you turbo a nitro RC car?

Yes, you can turbo a nitro RC. Firstly, select any turbocharger that is adequate to the weight and design with the nitro. It is paramount as even a minor weight distinction may cause balancing and controlling problems. Also, fasten the nitrous injection mechanism to your supeRCharger.

How fast can an electric RC car go?

A well-built electric RC car is able to go as rapidly as 70 mph. Some electric RC cars are modified for drag racing as well. Those have the capability to reach speeds of 100 mph or more.

Wrapping Up

Hope we have cleared your confusion about nitro vs electric RC?

Now that you know all the aspects and can compare them. Weigh all the options and choose the best one. Figure out which one suits your requirements and preferences.

That is all for now. Have a good day!

About the author

Travis Murray

I am Travis Murray, and my love for RC began in 2017. It gradually turned into a passion, leading me to become an RC enthusiast and blogger. I write in-depth reviews and DIY guides for RC enthusiasts to provide troubleshooting tips and insider knowledge to help starters find the hidden gems in the hobby.
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