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Advantages / disadvantages
Acceleration is usually better than thermic model and the speed is sufficient for use on most kart circuits. Torque in electric motors are greater than that of the gas engine. They are ideal for quick take offs and off road climbing.
Electric go-karts are low maintenance, requiring only that the lead-acid batteries of the cars be plugged into an array of chargers after each run. Since they are pollution-free and emit no smoke, the racetracks can be indoors in controlled environments. Most fully charged electric karts can run a maximum of 20 minutes before performance is affected. An expensive alternative is the use of Lithium iron phosphate LiPO4 lithium batteries. They last much longer and carry more power per pound than lead acid batteries.
Electric power Go-Karts do not have hot engines or a tank full of gas which can prove to be safer in an accident.
Batteries are still very expensive and the autonomy is not that good. However, charging can be achieved in about 30 minutes and it is possible to swap batteries.
The ERDF Masters Kart racing event with electric karts took place in Paris, France, in December 2011. Drivers from different auto racing series such as Formula 1, GP2 Series, WRC, DTM, IndyCar or kart racing got to compete with karts powered by a 40 hp brushless type electric motor, using an indoor track specially built for the occasion at the Paris-Bercy arena.
There are a few other events for electric karts such as e-Kart, a university challenge, also in France.
In the US, the Red Line Oil Karting Championship of Northern California started hosting in 2013 a field of Ekarts (Category V, Group 2, Class 1) competing for the Rattlesnake Electric Sport Championship. Most weekends, lap times were within less than a second of the fastest laps, with reliabity much better than their gas cousins.
In Canada, the G-Zero Championship Racing Series is set to start racing on temporary city street circuits in 2016. The G-Zero series uses all-electric zero-emissions karts built by EVC Racing of Indianapolis IN featuring a blend of parts used in motorcycle racing and new innovative battery technology.
Since 2006, an annual electric karting challenge is organized by associations and e-Kart. This Challenge brings together manufacturers, schools, academic institutions (electrical engineering). This competition is played with machines expanding from 10 to 67 kilowatts, it takes place over three days and includes many tests (endurance 4 hours, best lap times, acceleration from stop over a distance of 50 meters, 10-minute races ...).
- Kartelec, the list of manufacturers of electric gokart
- (French) Sodikart dévoile le SODI STX utilisé à Bercy – Kartelec, 6 December 2011
- Rattlesnake Electric Sport
- "Go-kart". whichgokartsforsale.com. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
- G-Zero Championship
- EVC Racing
- Les challenges e-Kart
- Les résultats de la Rencontre Pédagogique Internationale de Kart Electrique de Vierzon e-Kart 2013 - Site officiel e-Kart
- videos du challenge 2014 - Site officiel e-Kart