What are the (five) major differences to consider when choosing an electric or ICE Go-Kart

APR 19, 2023
Kinetik E Karts in action
Kinetik E Karts in action – By Petroslav Belchev

Go-karting is an exciting motorsport that has captured the hearts of many enthusiasts worldwide. However, when choosing between a sports electric or an ICE (internal combustion engine) go-kart, the decision can be quite overwhelming. Both options have unique advantages and disadvantages, ultimately depending on your preferences and requirements. In this article, we will delve into the differences, pros, and cons of electric and ICE go-karts to help you make an informed decision when choosing which type of kart to use for your next race or recreational activity.

In order to compare pears with pears, not pears with apples, we`ll extract 5 main differences in the sports Go-Kart world. We have selected two manufacturers, representing both worlds – Kinetik Electric Karts (the fastest sport Electric Go-Kart in the world so far) and its equivalent BirelART used in KZ1. We will give points for each category and at the end of the article, you`ll find our conclusion. 

Before jumping into a detailed comparison, we`ll meet you with both karts.

The competitors in the article

 

4 Kinetik E Go-Karts during Kinetik Electric Series Championship
4 Kinetik E Go-Karts during Kinetik Electric Series Championship

Kinetik Karts: 

Category Specification
Engine Fully electric engine
Power 40 kW
Chassis Custom Maranello Kinetik chassis allowing 50:50 weight distribution
Brakes Hydraulic brake system with pedal-operated system
Fuel 6,4 kWh battery pack
Top speed Up to 135 km/h (80 mph)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds
Motor Torque 120 Nm
Weight 115 kg

BirelART KZ1 Sports Kart
BirelART KZ1 Sports Kart

BirelART KZ:

Category Specification
Engine 125cc water-cooled 2-stroke engine (from various engine suppliers)
Power Around 45-50 horsepower
Transmission 6-speed sequential gearbox with manual or paddle shift system
Chassis Tubular steel frame with adjustable torsion bars and ride height
Brakes Hydraulic brake system with manual or pedal-operated system
Fuel Unleaded gasoline and oil mixture with a maximum octane rating of 102
Top speed Up to 160 km/h (100 mph)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in around 3 seconds
Torque Around 36-40 Nm
Weight Starting from 150 kg

Once we`ve met our competitors, let`s look through the pros and cons of electric and ICE karts.

Performance

Time table from karting track

Knowing you are here to choose between an electric kart and one with ICE, most probably the performance is the thing that interests you the most. We`ll introduce you to the differences.

The Kinetik Electric Go-Karts have the same advantages as an electric car. With an acceleration of 0-100 in 3.4 seconds, this machine is equivalent to a sports vehicle, while the pilot is 3 centimetres high from the track. The TOP speed of this machine is 135 km/h. The biggest advantage of a Kinetik Electric Go-Kart over BirelArt KZ`s would be the performance on the corners. Since the electric machine has such high torque, it can perform many times better when it exits this part of the track.

On the other side of the track comes BirelArt KZ with its 36 kW, TOP speed of 150 km/h and fascinating 0-100 in around 3 seconds. If we take into consideration the 3 times less motor torque, we can surely conclude that a KZ kart can overtake the Kinetik E-kart on a drag race, however on a track with lots of turns, the electric machine will be the winner. 

In the Performance section, depending on the tracks you are about to race in, you`ll need to place the point. For tracks with a long straight sector – ICE point would be suitable. For one with many turns – one for the electric kart. Since for every 3 tracks with many turns, there is one with a long enough straight to compensate, we are giving this point to the Kinetik Electric Go-Kart. 

Maintenance

A Pilot fixing his broken karting

Since you are looking for a KZ kart, most probably you already have experience maintaining one with Internal Combustion Engine. You`ve changed the oil, repaired the engine a few times, and had your own garage where you could strip down the whole machine to understand what bottlenecks the performance of the machine. Overall – normal maintenance for an ICE go-kart. Let`s check what is the situation with the electric go-kart.

With a Kinetik Electric Go-kart, you have an electric motor with air cooling. This means you have close to no maintenance on the engine, close to no need for repairs and a whole garage just to strip down the machine. Yes, you`ll still have to take care of the breaks, chassis, etc., however, the most time-consuming part – the engine – is “missing”. 

We`ll need to give one more point to the Kinetik Electric Go-Kart. 2:0 so far.

Telemetry, settings and data

Kinetik Electric Go-Kart Cloud Telemetry
Kinetik Electric Go-Kart Cloud Telemetry

This specific section will be dedicated just and only to the Kinetik Electric Go-Karts. Almost none of the ICE go-karts have their own telemetry with GPS, Go-kart performance data record, integrated camera and option to track everything live.

As we have described, Kinetik Automotive – the company developing Kinetik Electric Go-Karts, has developed in-house telemetry, providing real-time cloud data. by analysing the results – Kart`s RPMs, temperature, torque, passed road and camera from the pilot, you can easily boost your performance on the track without the need for a trainer. Comparing past laps, you can identify your mistakes, do some changes and continue beating your own records

Having Kinetik Electric Go-Kart has one more major advantage – you can make and save any changes to the settings of the E-Go kart, such as RPMs, Torque map and Power. Combined both features give you an unfair advantage, piloting karting specifically tuned for each track.

Refuelling, distance per charge and emissions

Kinetik Electric Go-Kart battery pack
Kinetik Electric Go-Kart battery pack

Refuelling is one of the primary differences between the two types of go-karts. Conventional go-karts require refuelling with petrol or diesel fuel, which can be messy, however, is a very time-saving process. In contrast, electric go-karts can be recharged easily with a plug, without any need for fuelling stations, still, in most of them you would need between 40 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the voltage you can provide.

Another difference is the distance per charge. The distance per charge for electric go-karts varies depending on the battery size and capacity. Typically, Kinetik Electric go-karts can run for up to 25 kilometres on a single charge. Compared to petrol or diesel-powered go-karts, sport electric go-karts have significantly less distance.

Lastly, emissions are a significant difference between the two types of go-karts. Conventional go-karts release harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. On the contrary, electric go-karts produce zero emissions, making them environmentally friendly and ideal for indoor racing events. The reduced emissions from electric go-karts also make them a more sustainable option for karting businesses, as they comply with stricter environmental regulations. Not to mention the cost per mile, whereas for the electric Go-karts it is cents, while the conventional one multiplies more than ten times this amount.

Having all of this information in mind, we just can’t do anything but give two points to both karts. 

Initial Costs

Image representing finances

Finances are one of the most important aspects whenever getting into a sport such as go-karting.

Currently, the Kinetik Electric Go-Kart costs roughly around $17,500. The mentioned price includes two years of software & hardware updates and a warranty if bought from an EU country, custom Kinetik Telemetry and personalized support from the manufacturer.

On the other hand, the initial cost of a BirelART KZ kart can vary depending on several factors, such as the dealer, the region, and the specific model you choose. Typically, the cost of a new BirelART KZ kart can range from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the features and options you choose.

Covering the initial cost of both competitors, we are giving one point each.

Conclusion

Kinetik Electric Go-Karts
Kinetik Electric Go-Karts

In conclusion, when choosing between an electric or an ICE go-kart, it ultimately depends on your preferences and requirements. In terms of performance, the Kinetik Electric Go-Kart excels on tracks with many turns due to its high torque, while the BirelArt KZ is suitable for tracks with long straight sectors due to its high speed. However, with a score of 5-2, the Kinetik Electric Go-Kart wins the competition. Moreover, the Kinetik Electric Go-Kart has an advantage in telemetry, settings, and data, providing real-time cloud data, allowing the pilot to analyze results and boost their performance on the track.

We hope we`ve managed to help you with your research! If you are interested in the world of EV, what we do and how we develop, sign up for our Mail Bulletin and check once per month the Kinetik Updates! ⚡

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