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RC Car Voltage Chart

RC Car Voltage

The actual voltage at which an RC car runs depends on the type of battery it uses. There are primarily four categories of batteries used in RC cars: Li-ion, LiPo, LiHV LiPo, and NiMH. It’s important to note that standard AA or AAA batteries are not considered in this context, as they are more commonly associated with toy-grade RC cars. The power output of these batteries varies, following the sequence from lowest to highest: Li-ion, NiMH, LiPo, and LiHV LiPo. Additionally, these batteries are characterized by differences in their rated voltage, storage voltage, and voltage when fully charged. For ease of reference, this article organizes this information into various tables as presented below:

RC Car Voltage Chart

RC Car Li-ion and Lipo Battery Voltage Chart

Li-ion or LiPo BatteryMinimum VoltageRated VoltageStorage VoltageFull Charge Voltage
1s (1 Cell)3.0V3.7V3.8V4.2V
2s (2 Cells)6.0V7.4V7.6V8.4V
3s (3 Cells)9.0V11.1V11.4V12.6V
4s (4 Cells)12.0V14.8V15.2V16.8V
5s (5 Cells)15.0V18.5V19V21V
6s (6 Cells)18.0V22.2V22.8V25.2V
7s (7 Cells)21.0V25.9V26.6V29.4V
8s (8 Cells)24.0V29.6V30.4V33.6V
RC Car Li-ion and Lipo Battery Voltage Chart

RC Car LiHV Lipo Battery Voltage Chart

LiHV LiPo Battery Minimum VoltageRated VoltageStorage VoltageFull Charge Voltage
1s (1 Cell)3.0V3.8V3.85V4.35V
2s (2 Cells)6.0V7.6V7.7V8.7V
3s (3 Cells)9.0V11.4V11.55V13.05V
4s (4 Cells)12.0V15.2V15.4V17.4V
5s (5 Cells)15.0V19.0V19.25V21.75V
6s (6 Cells)18.0V22.8V23.1V26.1V
7s (7 Cells)21.0V26.6V26.95V30.45V
8s (8 Cells)24.0V30.4V30.8V34.8V
RC Car LiHV Lipo Battery Voltage Chart

RC Car NiMH Battery Voltage Chart

NiMH BatteryMinimum VoltageRated VoltageStorage VoltageFull Charge Voltage
1s (1 Cell)1.0V1.2V1.3V1.4V
2s (2 Cells)2.0V2.4V2.6V2.8V
3s (3 Cells)3.0V3.6V3.9V4.2V
4s (4 Cells)4.0V4.8V5.2V5.6V
5s (5 Cells)5.0V6.0V6.5V7.0V
6s (6 Cells)6.0V7.2V7.8V8.4V
7s (7 Cells)7.0V8.4V9.1V9.8V
RC Car NiMH Battery Voltage Chart

Li-ion vs. NiMH vs. LiPo vs. LiHV LiPo

Li-ion Battery

Li-ion Battery

Li-ion and LiPo batteries share similar voltage ranges for RC cars, typically from 1S to 8S. Li-ion batteries are favored for smaller RC cars, such as those in the 1/16 and 1/18 scale categories. Although Li-ion batteries have a lower C-rate compared to NiMH and LiPo batteries, they compensate with a marginally higher capacity within the same volume, thus providing extended run times for compact RC cars with restricted internal space.

These batteries are predominantly composed of 18650 Li-ion cells, assembled and packaged distinctly from LiPo batteries, which are made through a process of cell stacking, pack assembly, and packaging. This makes Li-ion batteries easily identifiable from LiPos by their appearance.

NiMH Battery

NiMH Battery

NiMH batteries are a good fit for larger RC cars with moderate power needs, such as those in the 1/8 and 1/10 scale ranges. Despite being slightly bulkier than LiPo batteries, NiMH batteries are more affordable and often chosen for budget-friendly models. The most common configurations for RC car NiMH batteries are the 6-cell and 7-cell setups. For RC cars needing higher voltage, LiPo batteries are the preferred choice.

LiPo Battery

Lipo battery

LiPo batteries are the preferred choice in the RC hobby world, particularly the 2s, 3s, and 4s variants. Known for their compact size, lightweight, and high discharge rates, LiPo batteries cater to a wide range of RC car scales, from 1/5 to 1/18. Their main drawback is a somewhat shorter lifespan than NiMH batteries, but with proper care, they can last 2-3 years or more. LiPo battery technology is now well-developed, making these batteries affordable.

LiHV Lipo Battery

LiHV Lipo Battery

LiHV (High Voltage) batteries, a variant of LiPo batteries, meet the needs of RC cars requiring slightly higher voltages. They offer a higher discharge voltage platform than standard LiPo batteries, boosting discharge power. LiHV batteries are particularly popular in competitive RC car racing due to their enhanced performance. However, their higher production costs make them less prevalent in hobbyist-level RC cars.

The Impact of Voltage on RC Cars

The relationship between an RC car’s voltage and its performance is direct: within the power system’s voltage limits, a higher voltage leads to a more potent discharge capability, translating into faster speeds and increased torque. Consequently, LiPo and LiHV LiPo batteries, known for their high energy density, compact size, lightness, and robust discharge rates, dominate the field. But what’s the ideal choice? Consult the table below for guidance:

RC car Voltage to Battery Chart

RC Car VoltageLow ConfigurationHigh Configuration
1s1s lipo1s lihv lipo
2s6s NiMH2s lipo / 2s lihv lipo
3s7s NiMH / 2s lipo3s lipo / 3s lihv lipo
4s3s lipo / 3s lihv lipo4s lipo / 4s lihv lipo
6s4s lipo / 4s lihv lipo6s lipo / 6s lihv lipo
8s(2) 3s lipo / (2) 3s lihv lipo(2) 4s lipo / (2) 4s lihv lipo
RC car Voltage to Battery Chart

It’s crucial to avoid overstepping the voltage boundaries—too high a voltage can jeopardize the ESC and motor, while too low a voltage may leave the car underpowered. Selecting a battery that aligns with your RC car’s voltage requirements, as indicated in the table, is key to its safe and effective operation. For those looking to push their vehicle to its limits, the High Configuration is your go-to. If the power feels overwhelming, the Low Configuration might be more your speed. As you gain confidence and skill, transitioning to the High Configuration can elevate your RC experience.

What You Need to Know

Some RC cars feature adjustable cutoff voltages to accommodate varying battery voltages. Before using batteries of different voltages, ensure the ESC’s voltage setting is appropriate. A general recommendation is to set the cutoff voltage between 3.0v (the minimum) and 3.2v for 1s LiPo batteries and adjust accordingly for other types.

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