After covering everything about shifter karts, I thought it’d be great to talk about an alternative to traditional karting: electric go-karts.
Electric go-karts are still very new, and most go-kart tracks don’t have rental electric karts. But, many drivers think that they could be the future of karting, while some still stand by classic gas go-karts.
So, I figured that seeing what electric go-karts offer and comparing them to gas go-karts would solve this debate.
What to Look For in an Electric Go Kart
Electric go-karts are getting more popular every day. So, it’s good to know what aspects are crucial for them and how to choose the best one for your racing needs.
What Types of Electric Go Karts Are There?
There are two main types of electric go-karts: racing and rental karts. If you’re racing in an electric go-kart league, you’ll need a racing go-kart. If you’re a leisure driver or own a go-kart track, electric rental go-karts are the way to go.
The main difference between the two comes in their performance. Racing karts utilize lighter chassis and more powerful motors to maximize the kart’s top speed and acceleration.
On the other hand, rental karts use long-lasting batteries and come with extra features to make your experience better. These include quick swab battery systems, which allow you to replace the batteries in less than a minute, and a variety of power levels for different tracks.
While many brands like Sodi and OTL make electric rental go-karts, the king of racing karts is BlueShockRace. BSR also offers rental karts, which are high-performing compared to one from other brands.
How Fast Can Electric Go Karts Go?
Electric go-karts usually reach speeds of 40-60 mph (64-96 km/h). Most rentals have a top speed within that range, while rental karts for kids go a bit slower, maxing out at 25-30 mph (40-48 km/h).
But, electric karts are best known for their acceleration. The motors used in them allow for a rapid increase in torque, making them reach their top speed faster.
Along with being environmentally friendly, their acceleration makes electric go-karts optimal for indoor tracks, which are usually very technical. Since they can reach a high speed faster, they work amazingly at tracks that have short straights and many corners.
What Is the Fastest Electric Go-Kart?
The fastest electric go-kart is the Daymak C5 Blast. While the kart isn’t available for purchase, it’s said to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 1.5 seconds. I can only imagine how my stomach would feel after taking the C5 Blast for a spin!
In terms of actual speed, though, the fastest electric go-kart title goes to the BSR Pro racing kart. It can reach speeds of 84 mph (135 km/h), which is pretty fast for a gas go-kart, let alone an electric one. It can also do 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
How Long Can an Electric Go Kart Run?
Most electric go-karts can run for around 15-30 minutes at a time. Rental karts can usually handle a 30-minute session with ease while racing karts will need a battery change after 20 minutes or so.
The running time of an electric go-kart is based on the type of batteries it uses. The most common ones used are lead-acid batteries, while more advanced karts will use lithium ion or lithium polymer ones.
As I’ll mention below, these two have different weights and costs, but lithium batteries last longer and offer better performance in terms of running time. Still, electric go-karts could see much improvement in this aspect.
How Much Do Electric Go Karts Cost?
The price of electric go-karts varies a lot. A rental kart can set you back between $5,000-$10,000, while a racing one can cost $8,000-$13,000.
An entire power unit for an electric racing go-kart will cost $6,000-$10,000. This includes the motor and the batteries needed. On top of this, you’ll need to buy a charger, which can cost up to $800, with the cheapest one going for $400.
Since most racing karts use lithium batteries, you could opt for lead-acid ones, which are cheaper but offer worse performance. Also, buying an electric kart is a good idea, since most of them are fully functional and cost 10%-20% less than brand-new ones.
But, electric karts have few maintenance costs, meaning that the initial investment will save you money in the long run.
How Much Do Electric Go Karts Weigh?
Electric go-karts weigh around 300-400 lbs (136-181 kg), depending on the motor and batteries used. Some adult rental karts can weigh more than 400 lbs, while kid rental karts weigh between 200-250 lbs.
Racing go-karts weigh 220-264 lbs (100-120 kg), despite using heavier lithium batteries. The weight difference between racing and rental karts is primarily because of the chassis’ size. Racing karts have a simpler and slimmer chassis.
With that, let’s look at how gas go-karts rank up against electric karts.
Gas Go Kart vs. Electric Go Kart
Electric go-karts work very differently from regular go-karts. The apparent difference is that the former uses an electric motor to run, while the latter utilizes a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. But you already knew that. So, let’s compare the two kart types to see which one is the best.
The clear winner between the two is gas go-karts when it comes to weight. That’s because most 2-stroke gas karts weigh 300 lbs (136 kg) on average (driver included). On the contrary, most electric go-karts weigh the same without the driver.
Now, when comparing electric go-karts to 4-stroke gas karts, the electric ones are still heavier. But, 4-stroke engines don’t have the same output as 2-stroke engines, so it’s a good idea to compare the speed of the gas and electric go-karts.
I was surprised to see how minimal the speed difference is between the two. Single-speed go-karts can reach a top speed of 70-80 mph (113-129 km/h), which is slower than the fastest electric go-kart, which goes up to 84 mph (135 km/h)!
But, once I took a look at rentals, gas go-karts are clear winners. While most electric go-karts have a top speed of 40-60 mph (64-96 km/h), their gasoline equivalents go between 60-70 mph (96-113 km/h).
The most significant difference is found in the kid rental karts. Electric ones max out at 25-30 mph (40-48 km/h), while some gas ones go up to 60 mph (96 km/h).
Despite dominating the electric ones in top speed, gas go-karts have nothing against the acceleration of their eco-friendly counterparts. Even a 250cc shifter kart’s acceleration isn’t as great as the Daymak C5 Blast’s, which can do 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds.
The handling of both types is usually up to the driver’s expertise. For example, if you put me inside a superkart, I won’t be able to handle it even if my life depended on it.
But, from a technical standpoint, electric karts have much better handling. For starters, the way the batteries are placed on the kart allows for even weight distribution. This, in turn, gives you better overall control through each corner.
Also, every go-kart has a reverse gear, which you enable by pressing a button on the wheel. So, unlike gas go-karts, you’ll be able to recover from a spin-out without the help of a marshall or a race official.
Both electric and gas go-karts are similar when it comes to their costs. That’s because the latter has many maintenance costs, while the former needs significant initial investment.
A race-ready electric go-kart costs $8,000-$13,000, while a gas go-kart with the same power output will cost around $7,000. But, the extra costs, like the fuel, engine parts, and clutch, quickly add up. These expenses aren’t present in electric go-karts, but you’ll need to replace the motor or the batteries if they break.
While go-karting can be dangerous, electric go-karts are technically safer than gas go-karts. Even though both karts have exposed wheels, gasoline karts are more dangerous because of their engine, which is also exposed.
That, however, doesn’t mean that electric karts are much safer. Their batteries and motors can get very hot, so you can get badly burned if you accidentally touch them after a race.
One argument that I saw online is that electric go-karts are less likely to flip than gas karts. That’s because of the batteries, which allow for great weight distribution. Either way, go-karts are not prone to flipping.
The most crucial benefit of electric go-karts is that they’re 100% safe for the environment. I’ve read several reports stating that gasoline karts’ exhaust fumes after one race are the same as a car’s fumes after a long trip.
These fumes aren’t only dangerous to the environment, though. They can be toxic to everyone who breathes them in, especially someone who’s pregnant or has respiratory problems.
On the contrary, electric go-karts produce zero emissions. Also, since they don’t use a combustion engine, you won’t have to worry about polluting the track with a fuel or oil spill.
Longevity is a critical factor for both go-kart types. I’m not only talking about how long the go-kart will last before you need to buy a new one; it needs to be able to run long enough for a race or a practice session.
And that’s where electric go-karts need a big improvement. Both rentals and racing ones last a maximum of 30 minutes. On the other hand, I’ve seen drivers on the track for one hour straight on gas go-karts.
You could take a trip to the pits every 30 minutes and change the batteries, but I’d imagine that you’d not be able to fully charge one in half an hour. So, electric karts aren’t the best for training your racing skills.
That said, when it comes to them lasting for a long time without needing repairs, electric go-karts are better than gas ones. They have features inside that allow you to alter how much you’re pushing while driving, which isn’t present in gas karts.
In terms of competition and availability, gas go-karts are the way to go at the moment. However, electric go-karts can provide enough power to match up against their gasoline brothers.
I believe that electric go-karts will be a more viable option in a few years’ time, and they could become more popular than gasoline ones.
That’s all there’s to say about electric go-karts. I’d suggest you try one out when you get the chance; the feeling when you press on the gas pedal is unique and nothing like gas go-karts.
Stay tuned for more articles just like this one!
FAQs for Electric Go Karts
Are Electric Go-Karts Worth It?
Electric go-karts are worth it. They are up to par with gasoline karts in most aspects, and they are much more environmentally friendly. Plus, as I said above, they’re pretty fun to drive.
Are Electric Go Karts Faster Than Gas Go-Karts?
Electric go-karts have higher acceleration than gas go-karts. But, most similarly-priced gas go-karts are faster on long straights than their electric counterparts.
How Does an Electric Go Kart Work?
An electric go-kart uses a motor and batteries to run. You’ll need to charge your batteries by utilizing a particular charging station. But, as I mentioned above, most batteries don’t last for long.