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Electric vs Gas Karts: Which is Better?

shot of K1 Speed Storm electric go kart, used as head image in gas kart vs electric kart blog

Electric vs gas karts. You might wonder which of these go-karts is better. There are many reasons why electric karts beat gas karts. So, let’s see how electric karts benefit both you and the planet.



1. Electric vs Gas Kart Emissions


Electric Karts Produce ZERO Emissions


All of our battery powered go karts produce zero emissions. Gas-powered karts’s emissions can be bad for both the environment and ourselves.


At the 2015 International Emissions Inventory Conference in San Diego, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and an environmentalist/health care scientist delivered a presentation on National Lawn and Garden Equipment Emissions. Wait, lawn and garden equipment? What does that have to do with go-karts? Because they are powered by engines very similar to those found in most gas-powered go-karts.

In an hour, emissions from these engines produce the equivalence of driving a typical car for 350 miles . Plus, they contain harmful pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and dioxide, particulate matters and more.


This all significantly hurts the ozone and threatens our health:

  • Causes respiratory harm (worsened asthma/COPD)
  • Early death
  • Cardiovascular problems (heart attacks, strokes, heart disease)
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Reproductive harm


chart of small engine pollution versus light vehicle pollution

And this is all if the emissions are OUTSIDE. NOT in a confined indoor karting center with limited ventilation. Just imagine the carcinogen exposure at that last indoor gas karting place you went to. Not good, my friend.


And we’re not even talking about the amount of fuel spilled during refueling. That stabs into the heart of mother earth yet again. Not only does spilled gasoline contaminate groundwater, but it evaporates into the air. This evaporation forms a smog-created ozone when heated by the engine and/or sunlight.


Race guiltlessly at K1 Speed, knowing that none of these harmful byproducts are entering your body or the Earth’s environment.

2. Electric vs Gas Kart: Speed


Battery Powered Go Karts are Faster than Gas Karts


For the real racer reading this, you’ll be happy to know that battery powered karts are actually faster than gas karts. There’s a reason why even the modern Formula 1 car incorporates electric power. It helps them produce up to an additional 160bhp under acceleration!


Gas engines’ acceleration is limited before it reaches the “power band”. The “power band” is the optimum revolutions per minute (RPM) to provide torque (power/push). The electric motors in our karts deliver INSTANT torque. Instant torque provides you with maximum power as soon as you press on the throttle.

electric engine torque vs gas engine torque comparable to kart

This plays a very important role in indoor karting, as you’re typically not flat-out for long on a twisty kart circuit. You need more acceleration than top speed to achieve a fast lap time.


How fast is the electric go kart ?


Trust us, our torque is going to produce a smile on your face as soon as you hit our track.

3. Electric vs Gas Kart: Safety


There’s little in the way of safety when it comes to gas karts. If there’s an aggressive driver in a gas kart, nothing can be done to control that driver. This means they’ll continue to be a hazard on the track and endanger other racers that are trying to enjoy a fun experience.


Electric Karts are Safer Than Gas Karts


Electric karts let us adjust the speed of each kart based on a driver’s skill level. This ensures that no driver is put into the deep end of performance driving without being fully accustomed to the challenge it can present.


At K1 Speed, every driver starts on the second-to-highest speed setting, so we can monitor their performance. Once we see the driver is fast, doesn’t hit walls or other karts, doesn’t spin out, and obeys our flags, then we’ll bump them up to our highest speed setting the next race.


learn how to drive an electric go kart


If someone is doing any of the above, then it’s rather obvious that the racer can’t quite handle the current speed setting.  This tells us that they may need to be notched down to a lower setting for the safety of themselves and other racers. The last thing you want is a racer approaching a corner at 45mph when they spin out going 25 – that’s a disaster in the making.


But should you spin, you’ll be happy to know that the electric go kart motor allows you to reverse on the track, instead of having to wait for an employee to go onto an active track to push you back.


And since there’s nothing combustible like fuel being used in our karts, there’s no risk of fire, hence why enjoying K1 Speed in just a t-shirt and jeans is entirely possible. Plus, we cover anything that may get warm, so there’s no risk of you burning yourself on something hot getting in/out of the kart.

two go karts racing, gas kart vs electric kart debate

Electric Cars and Racing are the Future. Embrace it.


With many automakers transitioning to a larger electric vehicle output and with automotive-loving countries like the UK and France banning all gas-powered vehicles in the next 10-20 years, going green and driving battery powered vehicles has never been so trendy and modern.

photo of bmw motorsport's formula e car

With the introduction of several all-electric racing series like Formula E, electric motorsport is erupting as a popular outlet for manufacturers, prominent teams, and world-class drivers.

LA Mayor Welcomes Formula E Electric Car Racing


In the very near future, it’s easy to see a world where these racing series become the general public’s preference. So by driving at K1 Speed, you’re driving a sample of what your future favorite pros will hustle around the turns.

k1 speed electric pro kart, electric vs gas kart

Celebrate Earth Day, 365 Days a Year


So, as you can see, there are many benefits to racing electric karts versus the gas karts you may have tried before. You’ll enjoy a faster and safer experience while you get a head start on the norm in the near-future, and most importantly, you’ll be protecting Mother Earth and yourself from horrible pollutants, which is what Earth Day is all about.


At K1 Speed, Earth Day isn’t just April 22nd. Earth Day can be celebrated every day you’re racing here.

  • Judy copas

    How much cost to ride one

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Judy! Thanks for your interest in driving one of our all-electric go karts! Prices vary by location. So please visit our Arrive & Drive page , use the drop-down menu below “Buy Races Online” to select the center you wish to visit, and it’ll take you directly to our prices page. Online prices are the same as our in-store prices. Thank you and hope to see you soon!

  • Percy Pyne

    is there a height or age limit to race?
    My grandsons drive golf carts

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Percy! Yes, there is a height limit to race – not age. The minimum height requirement is 48″ (4′) for our junior karts, and 4’10” for our adult karts. Please note that in addition to height we make sure that they can safely operate the kart (can reach the pedals, steering wheel, etc) before we give them final clearance to go racing. Hope we’ll get to see you and your grandsons soon!

  • Bree p

    Can kids ride with adults?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello Bree! Since there is a large difference in performance between the junior (kids) karts and adult karts, we do not allow both kinds of karts to be on track at the same time for safety reasons. And all of our karts are single-seaters with no passenger seats. Hope this answers your question that we still get to see you at the track soon!

  • Luis Francisco Guevara Hernández

    Hello, I need information, I looking buy some electric Karts for El Salvador, can you help me?

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