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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. Are Electric Karts Faster Than Gas Go Karts?


Battery Powered Go Karts are Faster than Gas Karts


For the real racer reading this, you’ll be happy to know that battery-powered electric karts are actually faster than gas karts. After all, there’s a reason why even modern Formula 1 cars incorporate 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.


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

Electric Karts are Better than Gas Karts


So, as you can see, electric karts are better than gas karts because you’ll enjoy a faster and safer experience, while protecting the environment.


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!

  • Jennifer Sheppard

    Hello, what are the height requirement for a 6 year old?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Jennifer! Our junior karts require a minimum height of at least 48″ (or 4′). Hope we’ll see you soon!

  • Marck G.

    My brother is about to be 12 can he drive an electric kart

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Marck! Yes, as long as your brother is at least 4′ (48″) tall and can safely reach the pedals and steering wheel, he can drive one of our electric go karts! Hope we’ll see you guys at the track soon!

  • John D

    Im a pretty big guy. Im 6’4 375. will I fit in the carts?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, John! That’s tough to answer – you might, you might not. We typically say 6’7″ 300lbs is our maximum, but that said, we’ve had some pretty large NFL players that have exceeded that. So our suggestion is to stop by yourself, and before you purchase any races, ask our front desk if you can just sit in a kart and see if you’ll fit. Hope to see you soon!

  • Herb Hobbs

    Where can I go to buy one of your electric karts?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Herb, our karts can be purchased from Kart 1 (kart1.com).

  • Tabo

    Can you wear flip flops (or any open toe shoe)

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Tabo! Thanks for your interest! We’ll need you to wear closed-toe shoes to race our karts. See you at the track!

  • Greg

    I read thru your whole spiel about your karts thinking the performance specs should be there somewhere. No, ‘it’ll put a smile on your face’ doesn’t qualify…

    • Staff Writer

      Hey, Greg! There’s a couple different kinds of karts out there in our centers, so there’s no universal kart specs for K1 Speed. However, this is the kart found at most of our centers and includes the performance specs I believe you’re looking for: https://kart1.com/kart/storm-efd/. Thanks!

  • Shailja Khurana

    Hi , my little one is 5 years old. Would he be allowed to drive kids carts ??

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Shailja! We don’t have age limitations, only height requirements – he’ll need to be at least 48″ (4′) tall and will need to be able to safely operate the vehicle (meaning he can reach the steering wheel/pedals) to drive. That said, age 5 tends to the youngest we see racers on our track, so your son MAY be okay to race as long as he meets those requirements. Hope we’ll see you at the track soon!

  • Amber Parker

    How many laps is one race?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Amber! Each race lasts until somebody completes 12 laps around our track. Hope to see you at the track soon!

  • Dick Congdon

    I have a granddaughter who is beginning driver ed training. Do you think that your cart circuit is a good place to get used to “driving in traffic”?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Dick! While driving in traffic on the road and racing at K1 Speed are quite different, racing at K1 Speed definitely teaches you spatial awareness, which would come in handy for your granddaughter. Hope we see you two at the track!

  • Bryan Creama

    Hello, I was wondering if I have a birthday party for my son going to be 9yr old. will I be able to race on the track with them at the same time? Thank you

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Bryan! At that age, the kids are likely going to be in our Junior Karts, so you would not be able to be on the track with them at the same time. We don’t mix our Adult and Junior karts on the track at the same time for safety reasons. Good question, though!

  • Big Guy

    I’m 6’5″ and a big guy overall. Can I fit into a kart?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey, “Big Guy”! We say our karts can accommodate up to 6’7″ and 300lbs and plenty of NFL players have raced our karts, but there has been some exceptions to that, both with bigger people and smaller people. So we recommend asking our staff if you can try sitting in a kart first before you pay for anything, just to make sure you’ll fit comfortably. Hope we see you at the track soon!

  • Tone


    If my sons are 10 years old, but they are over 4’10” and can fit In the adult karts, can they then be allowed to race with adult racers like Myself?

    • Staff Writer

      Hi, Tone! Yes, as long as your sons can fit in the kart and safely reach the pedals and steering wheel, you should be able to race with them. See you all at the track!

  • Lincoln

    How fast exactly are your carts in the highest setting and on the standard setting?

    • Staff Writer

      Hello, Lincoln! Our karts can go up to 45 mph in our standard, highest setting!

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