Why the Future of Go-Karting is Electric
Go-karting has been a fun pastime since the 1950s, but up until recently, go-karts were gas-powered. The longstanding tradition of using combustion engines to power these recreational vehicles causes people to hesitate when trying an electric model. Usually, thinking something needs to be added, or they will be less fun.
However, there are a lot of benefits to using an electric go-kart and some things they can do much better than any gas-powered go-kart. Because of the potential for improvement and the new technologies available, plenty of go-kart manufacturers are moving toward the future of electric kart development.
Let’s look at what sets electric go-karts apart from gas and cover several key reasons why the future of go-karting is electric.
Future Technology Trends in the Industry
Technology is constantly finding ways to improve the efficiency of machinery, including the development of go-karts. Plenty of manufacturers and engineers are focusing on creating functional, powerful electric vehicles, and for a good reason. Much of the world’s population has become more environmentally conscious, and advocacy groups and world governments are incentivizing more efficient research into greener machines.
Today’s electric motors generally use 95% of the energy they generate, compared with combustion engines which only use about 25% of the power available. Simply put, a gas engine has many moving parts that waste energy that could be used to move the go-kart. In contrast, an electric motor has only one moving part.
Technological innovations have made electric motors (like those in electric go-karts) both budget-friendly and economically sound.
While being able to accelerate quickly is a crucial feature of electric go-karts. Another helpful feature is that all electric engines can go in reverse, which most gas engines don’t allow you to do. Electric go-kart technology makes it easy to switch from propelling the vehicle forward to backing up whenever needed without using a special gearbox like a gas kart.
New Battery Technology
Because of how the battery and ignition switch is designed in electric go-karts, starting the vehicle is much easier than starting a gas-powered go-kart. Starting an electric vehicle can be done by turning a key or pushing a button, and that’s all it takes.
Electric go-karts typically use either lithium or lead-acid batteries (car batteries). However, lithium batteries are what most electric cars, such as Tesla, use and are better at storing energy than their counterparts. In fact, lithium-ion batteries are roughly 30% more efficient than lead-acid batteries.
Lithium batteries also charge faster, tend to be safer due to reduced overheating risks, and can store power three times longer than traditional car batteries (approximately 1500 charges).
Lead-acid batteries still present an excellent value for electric go-karting because, for now, they’re still more affordable. While they don’t charge as quickly or last as long as lithium batteries, they still do the job well for less intense go-kart usage.
Less Maintenance Required
Though electric go-karts might cost more to purchase initially, it’s important to note that the maintenance requirements for electric go-karts and gas-powered go-karts differ quite a bit. Maintaining and/or servicing an electric vehicle takes little work because electric go-karts are simple and only have one moving part. Maintenance costs are low for the first few years after purchase. An electric battery lasts several years before it needs repair or replacement.
Electric go-karts also offer a few conveniences that gas vehicles don’t. For one, electric go-karts are far less noisy. In addition, the electric motor runs on energy rather than gas combustion, so compared to the noise you hear when riding around in a gas-powered kart, it is whisper quiet.
While loud gas-powered go-karts probably won’t damage your hearing if you use go-karts occasionally. Over time, frequent gas go-kart use without proper ear protection may affect the rider’s hearing. So if you’re fond of go-karting as often as possible, your hearing will thank you for switching to the hum of an electric kart.
On top of electric go-karts running much quieter than gas, they also don’t produce any emissions. This means riders don’t have to deal with the unpleasant smells of driving gas-powered karts. In addition, the lack of exhaust produced by electric go-karts can make safe and fun indoor go-karting possible because nobody has to breathe in harmful exhaust fumes.
This means that indoor go-karting is possible throughout the year. So if you’re looking for fun things to do with your family and friends for a special occasion, Canadian winters won’t get in your way. K1 Speed uses electric go-karts at our tracks, so come rain or snow, there’s somewhere to go if you want to drive a go-kart for a spell.
Further, the lack of exhaust is a positive step toward environmental safety. It’s no secret that emissions produced by combustion engines pollute the air, which is part of what drives the push for electric vehicles in general. Of course, driving an electric go-kart is still fun, but it’s also a green option.
When you want to accelerate quickly, electric go-karts are the clear winner. They can reach top speeds in a matter of seconds, unlike gas engines which have to gradually build Speed. Should you need to slow down for any reason in a gas kart, you’ll have to slowly accelerate all over again. Electric go-karts, however, operate more efficiently. They can gain Speed quickly and recover immediately after deceleration. They also handle great, so making a sharp turn can be done without slowing down.
Whether electric go-karts or gas-powered go-karts are better is a matter of opinion at the end of the day. There are positives and negatives associated with each. Still, much of the focus into the future on go-kart development is for electric kart technology.
If you’d like to try electric go-karts, consider visiting us at K1 Speed and going for a spin. We have two locations, one in Mississauga and one in North York, Ontario. So whether you’re an adult or a kid, you’re welcome to have fun at our go-kart tracks.