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Which type of RC Car Battery has the longest Drivetime?

RC Car Battery

RC rock crawling is an exciting hobby for both adults and children. Minus the frustration of finding the right RC car according to your needs, there’s nothing not to love about RC rock crawling. The RC cars that offer the longest drivetime are hobby-grade RC vehicles. This is usually a couple of hours, depending on the type of RC car battery and mAh it can reach. 

Today we answer the question: which type of RC cars have the longest drivetime? Stick around to find out!

What to Consider when Looking for your RC Car Battery 

Here’s what to consider when looking for your car’s battery:

RC Car Rating & Battery life

An RC motor rating applies to brushless and brushed motors, typically written on the engine’s surface. This is the number of revolutions the engine delivers every minute, which dictates the battery’s voltage. Typically, RPM decreases substantially if the motor is integrated into the RC car. 

A long-lasting RC vehicle battery will facilitate the motor to yield increased RPM, making the car faster. Further, increased KV translates to the vehicle being less efficient compared to those with less KV and the same voltage. 

Reduced KV yields heat if the motor has high voltage and a low maximum speed. Also, the battery’s horsepower impacts the drive time. Hence it would be best to pick the RC vehicle with the correct voltage so it doesn’t break down. 

Battery Capacity 

When looking for an RC car battery, consider the power rating. This is the battery capacity which is measured in mAh. A battery that lasts long features an increased power rating, so your RC vehicle will operate for long between charges.

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The high power allows your vehicle to race for long even at high speeds. 

How to get as much drive time as possible

While some batteries last longer than others, there are a few simple ways you can maintain their charge and hence have longer drivetime, and they include;

Avoid Driving When it is Too Hot or Cold.

Some of you might not know this, but the battery runtime is affected by temperature. Extremely high or low temperatures will decrease the battery life by surging the discharge rate. For instance, during Winter, the battery tends to discharge swiftly, depleting more rapidly than usual. 

Do Not Hit the Throttle

The other fastest way to discharge your RC vehicle’s battery is by hitting the throttle. This is similar to when you drive for long; you consume more fuel since you will drain the battery faster if you accelerate abruptly.

Instead, ensure you accelerate gradually by gently pushing and letting go of the throttle. You don’t necessarily have to go slow, but avoid abrupt braking and accelerating. This guarantees your battery offers a longer drive time. 

Weight of the RC Car

Make sure your RC car isn’t too weighty to help prolong drivetime. This will also ensure your RC vehicle goes faster since there is little weight to carry. Additionally, ensure the tires are correctly inflated and are in the proper driving condition. For instance, check the treads to guarantee they’ll offer ample traction since the battery might discharge early in this case. 

Replace the Bushings With Bearings 

The last thing you can do to prolong battery life and, consequently, drive time is to replace the bushings with bearings. Bushings decrease the friction between the RC car’s parts, while bearings let the shaft revolve freely. This lessens the throttle required to speed up the RC car. 

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Types of Batteries for RC Cars

There are two main types of RC car batteries, each bagging a few pros and cons. They are:


    • Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries

    • Lithium polymer batteries 

NiMH Batteries 

NiMH Batteries 

These batteries come with a decent energy density, facilitating their prolonged runtime and compact design. What’s more, they are durable and have an excellent life cycle, allowing you to recharge a few hundred times before replacing them. 

On the other hand, these batteries have a downside; the memory effect. This disadvantage dictates that you have to deplete the battery entirely before you can recharge it to keep them in good shape. Similarly, they come with an increased discharge rate of 10 to 15 percent monthly. 

LiPo Batteries 

LiPo Batteries

LiPo batteries are a much better option for your RC car. They offer more energy density and voltage, prolonged drivetime, and more power with a compact build. 

Additionally, this battery pack doesn’t come with the memory effect disadvantage; hence doesn’t need to be at zero to recharge. Further, their discharge rate stands at 5% monthly. 

These batteries have a few downsides, including that they are more expensive than their counterparts and will serve you for a short time. Typically, they don’t exceed 250 life cycles. 

Some people confuse LiPo for Li-Ion. There are a few key differences between these two batteries, including;

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    • LiPo batteries are smaller than Li-ion batteries.

    • LiPo batteries are more durable, hence more suitable for RC vehicles. 

Nevertheless, LiPo batteries are costlier and won’t serve you for a long time. Commonly, LiPo batteries feature a solid electrolyte, while their counterpart has a liquid. 

While there are other types of batteries for RC cars, these are the most common, though you can also check out Li-Ion and NiCad batteries. 

LiPo & NiMH Batteries in RC Cars 

LiPo & NiMH Batteries in RC Cars

Keep in mind that LiPo batteries, while not susceptible to the memory effect, cannot be depleted entirely since they will spoil. This simply means that by utilizing a LiPo battery on your RC vehicle, you have to activate the low-voltage endpoint on the ESC. This stops your RC vehicle when the battery is almost depleted. 

On the other hand, the NiMH battery is sturdier, though if it has not been used for a long time, you could encounter some false peaking. Typically, when in use, NiMH batteries are supposed to be warm when charged fully. So, ensure they are always fully charged before you embark on your race for maximum productivity. 

In Conclusion

The drivetime offered by RC cars depends on the battery installed and other factors like the temperature outside. So, which type of cars have the longest drivetime? Hobby-grade cars. If you’re looking to have fun for a long time, uninterrupted by the inconvenience of charging mid-race, this is the RC car to go for!

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