Is Nitro RC Dying?

For most people, the sound of a Nitro RC is exhilarating. You can hear and see the power of the engine doing its job as you pull off. The availability of Nitro RCs seems to be fading in recent years, leaving us wondering if Nitro might be dying out.

Although there are far fewer Nitro powered RC options these days, we don’t think they’ll ever die out completely. There are still enough loyal fans of the Nitro RC to keep it alive. The demand for Nitro is lower than that of electric RCs because of electric being much easier to run and maintain.

Nitro powered RCs used to be the best for performance and were the fastest and the strongest option available for many years.

But that’s not exactly the case these days, advances in technology have turned electric RCs into super fast and powerful machines. Batteries and electric motors have become extremely popular in the last 10 to 15 years because they perform so reliably and consistently.

Electric RC’s appeal to more people because they’re safer for children and adults as well. The fuel used to run a Nitro RC is toxic and must always be handled and transported with special care.

There will be times when your gas-powered RC will need some fine-tuning and general maintenance. For example, cleaning of the air filter, replacing the glow plug, cleaning or replacing fuel filters, adjusting the carburettor, and more.

With an electric RC, maintenance is pretty easy. One of the most important things to do to maintain an electric RC is to keep it clean.

It’s for these reasons, and others that we’ll cover shortly, that Nitro RCs are less popular compared to electric. When the demand for something is very low, the price is usually inflated because production costs are much higher when producing anything on a small scale.

This is because the fixed costs of a company are the same whether they produce 1 unit or 100 000 units. The rent, salaries, wages, etc all need to be paid from the profit made from the units produced. The fewer units sold, the more profit they have to make from each one.

Related post: Do RC Nitro Trucks Have Reverse? Lets Find Out

Nitro VS Electric RC

To further clarify why electric RCs are more popular than Nitros, here’s a section of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

I believe that the pros of the electric RCs outweigh the Nitro, but there are many people who disagree. After going through the information provided below, you should be able to make your decision as well.

Nitro RC

Advantages of a Nitro RC

  • You can fine tune your engine to your requirements. This also gives you a sense of accomplishment when your RC is running at optimal performance.
  • The sound of the engine is pleasing to many people, just like how the engine of a full size performance vehicle sounds good to most people.
  • You can run your RC for many hours at a time as long as you have the fuel, just top it up and you’re ready to go again.
  • On average, Nitro RCs are faster than electric. (There are exceptions though)
  • Nitro RCs are more water resistant.

Related post: Here’s How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill

Disadvantages of a Nitro RC

  • There’s a lot more maintenance involved with Nitro RCs.
  • Fuel is dangerous, especially for kids.
  • The noise can be too loud for neighbors or other people in the area.
  • It’s more expensive to buy the Nitro RC and to run it because the fuel is expensive.
  • You can’t take a Nitro out of the box and start driving it immediately.
  • There are parts that will need replacing from time to time, like glow plugs.
  • Buying fuel is expensive and is becoming more difficult to find these days.

Electric RC

Advantages of an Electric RC

  • Electric RCs are ready to run straight out of the box, just connect the batteries and enjoy.
  • They’re quiet, so you won’t disturb people around you.
  • Electric RCs are more affordable to run because charging batteries is cheap and maintenance is low.
  • Electric RCs are cheaper than Nitros.
  • You can run them indoors as they don’t produce any toxic fumes like Nitros do.
  • Fine tuning of the motor is not required.
  • If a part stops working, it will usually be much cheaper to replace than if it was a Nitro part.

Disadvantages of an Electric RC

  • Run time is limited to your batteries, you can’t just refuel and go again, charging batteries takes time.
  • Electric RCs are less water resistant than Nitros. (Although there are water-proof electric RC these days as well)
  • For those that like the sound of a gas engine running, you won’t get any of that with an electric RC.

Why Are There So Few Nitro RC Models Available?

You might have already figured it out at this stage, but we’ll put things into simple terms just to be sure.

For most people, the advantages of an electric RC far outweigh those of a Nitro RC. For example, the sound of a Nitro engine is enjoyed by most people, but the cost for the fuel and maintenance isn’t worth the sound it produces.

Another primary reason gas-powered RCs aren’t very popular is the fact that many RCs are bought for children. Electric RCs are far better suited to children than Nitro RCs for safety and ease of use.

Buying a Nitro RC for your kid means that you must be there to help them top it up with fuel and start it up.

You have to make sure they don’t burn themselves on the hot engine. Most parents don’t have the time to watch over their children every time they want to drive their RC car.

Related post: How To Start A Nitro RC Car Without A Glow Starter


I don’t think that Nitro RC is dying, however; I do believe that Nitro RCs are becoming less popular among RC enthusiasts and for that reason, manufacturers are producing fewer Nitro options.

With most people opting for electric over Nitro, RC manufacturers produce fewer Nitro models as they know they’ll only sell a certain amount. They produce them according to the demand, so when the demand is low, they only make a few.

This inflates the price, as explained in the beginning of the article. The inflated price leads to more people opting for electric which reduces the demand for Nitro RCs even further.

If you’re one of the few people that prefer Nitro RCs, don’t worry, as long as there is a demand, even if it’s small, there will be a supply according to that demand.

Did you know that you can still buy record players? The machines that people used to play music on for around 100 years, from 1877 to the 1980s. Even though CDs and other forms of digital music took over, there are still a few people who want record players.

These days they cost as much as a car to purchase, but our point is that as long as there’s a demand, there’ll be a supply.

So if you really want a Nitro RC, go for it! Just go through the manual and make sure you know what you’re doing to run and maintain it properly.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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