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Electric vs. Nitro


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Motor vs. Engine
Electric Motor and Nitro Engine

Top: Motor on back of an electric Traxxas Rustler. Bottom: Engine sitting in middle of chassis on a nitro Traxxas Rustler.

© M. James
By far the biggest difference between an electric and a nitro RC are what makes them go. The electric RC is powered by a motor that requires electricity (in the form of a battery pack) as the fuel. The nitro RC uses an engine fueled by a methanol-based fuel that contains nitromethane. This nitro engine and nitro fuel are the RC equivalent of the gasoline engine and gasoline used in your full-size car or truck. Another class of hobby-grade RCs have gas-powered engines that use gasoline rather than nitro fuel. These are a special, larger size RC that is not as prevalent as the electric and nitro RC models.
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