What Batteries Work Best on an RC Car?

Written by kim blakesley Google
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What Batteries Work Best on an RC Car?
A racing RC car using a NiMH rechargeable battery. (rc-modell image by andreas from Fotolia.com)

The best battery to use in a remote control (RC) car depends on how the RC car is being used. Different batteries have different advantages. The battery used in a RC car that is being run on a playground surface is different than the battery that is used for racing. The types of batteries that can be used in an RC car include 7.2 volt, NiCad and NiMH batteries.

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7.2 Volt

The 7.2 volt battery pack is used to power the electric motor on an RC car. The pack is made of six 1.2 volt sub-c batteries that are soldered together to create the 7.2 volts. The 7.2 volt comes in either a stick or side-by-side pack. This type of battery provides good voltage to run the motor of an RC car that is used by children on the playground or at home. The downside of the 7.2 volt is replacing the batteries. Each battery can only be used until all voltage is gone. They are not rechargeable.


The NiCad is a nickel cadmium rechargeable battery. This battery is a step up from the 7.2 volt. The battery can be purchased for under £13. It is good battery to use on the playground, street or at home. Some RC car racers still use the NiCad for racing because it is lighter than the NiMH battery. Purchasing two batteries allows the RC car to be operational for a longer time period. One battery can be charged while the other is being used in the RC car. The downside to the NiCad battery is it has a memory. This means the battery should be completely drained prior to recharging. The use of the battery before charging will become ingrained in the memory. An example would be if the battery is only used to 85% capacity, it will only charge to 85% capacity.


The NiMH is a nickel metal hydride rechargeable battery. The NiMH is the newest technology in RC car batteries. They are expensive because the memory retention issue has been corrected. They do not have a memory. The capacity of the NiMH is 3000mAH, which means it will run longer than either the 7.2 volt or the NiCad batteries. This type of battery is normally used by RC race car drivers and not by hobbyists who drive their RC cars on the playground, streets or at home. The NiMH is very expensive and weighs more than the 7.2 volt or NiCad batteries.

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