Can You Use NiMH Batteries Instead Of NiCD In RC Cars?

can you use nimh batteries instead of nicd in rc cars

There are different batteries used to power electric RC cars, NiMH or Nickel-metal hydride batteries, NiCD or Nickel Cadmium batteries, LiPo or Lithium Polymer batteries, LiHV or High voltage Lithium-Ion batteries, and LiFePo4 or Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. Deciding the best RC battery is based on your RC car and its compatibility.

Yes, you can use NiMH batteries instead of NiCD batteries for your RC car. The cells of NiMH batteries will not cause any damage to your RC car because they have the same voltage as NiCD batteries. However, you have to use the right charger for the NiMH battery and not a NiCD charger for it.

Although NiMH batteries have the same voltage as NiCD batteries, there are still some differences between them. Hence, you have to learn about these batteries before you use them for your RC car. Knowing the differences between these batteries helps you use them correctly with your vehicle.

Are NiMH Batteries The Same As NiCD?

Of course not. NiMH batteries are not the same as NiCD batteries. There are three main differences between NiMH batteries and NiCD batteries; environmental friendliness, memory effect, and capacity.

NiMH batteries have a higher capacity than NiCD batteries. NiMH batteries will power your RC car for a longer period than NiCD batteries. The higher capacity of NiMH batteries allows them to last longer, so it takes a long time for them to charge.

NiMH batteries are lighter than NiCD. However, they have fewer life cycles than NiCD batteries. NiCD batteries have a memory defect. Hence, they do not remember the point in their charge cycle where charging began.

NiCD battery uses a cadmium hydroxide anode and a nickel hydroxide cathode, while NiMH uses an anode with an alloy to absorb and desorb hydrogen and a nickel hydroxide cathode.

NiCD batteries will charge faster at low temperatures and also perform better. However, NiCD batteries are not environmentally friendly as they are made from different toxic metals. Hence, disposing of them carelessly will cause damage to the environment.

NiMH batteries, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly. They are made from materials that have mild toxins so they can be recycled. Due to the complex charging algorithm of NiMH batteries, they take longer to charge.

When storing NiCD batteries, they must be fully discharged and should be stored in a cool, dry place. NiMH, on the other hand, should have a battery percentage of 40 before you store it in a dry place.

NiMH Batteries

Can I Replace A NiCD Battery With A NiMH?

Yes, you can replace a NiCD battery with a NiMH battery. NiMH batteries have more benefits than NiCD batteries. NiMH batteries have a longer shelf life than NiCD batteries. They can remain unused for 3 to 5 years without getting damaged, unlike NiCD batteries with a shelf life of three years.

NiMH batteries have the same voltage as NiCD batteries, so they will not damage your vehicle and will run it exactly as a NiCD battery will. When using a NiMH battery, you must not overcharge the battery and never use a NiCD charger to charge a NiMH battery.

NiMH batteries are more suitable as they do not have memory defects like NiCD batteries. If you are going to replace your NiCD battery with a NiMH battery, you must make sure the NiMH battery has the same capacity as the NiCD battery the RC car used previously.

The charging time of a NiCD battery is different from that of a NiMH battery. Hence, if you are replacing a NiCD battery with a NiMH battery, you must make sure that you do not charge the NiMH battery for too long, or else the battery will get damaged and can even explode.

NiMH batteries have thirty percent more capacity than NiCD batteries and a charge cycle of around 300 to 450. You can operate the NiMH battery within the temperature range of -5 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any problems.

Can You Use NiMH Batteries Instead Of LiPo In RC Cars?

RC car

Most RC cars come with NiMH batteries. You can use NiMH batteries instead of LiPo batteries in RC cars. There are some differences between NiMH batteries and LiPo batteries.

The major difference between NiMH and LiPo batteries is the chemical properties that allow them to charge. LiPo batteries do not have to be fully discharged before charging, while NiMH batteries have to be fully discharged before you charge them.

When it comes to the storage of these batteries, NiMH batteries have to be fully charged before they are stored. LiPo batteries must be in 50 to 70 percent charge before you store them.

LiPo batteries are much better than NiMH batteries. The voltage of a LiPo battery is 3.7V, while that of a NiMH battery is 1.2V. The voltage of a battery determines how strong the battery is and which is better to use.

The higher voltage of the LiPo battery allows the RC vehicle to move at a higher speed and power. LiPo batteries are more energy-dense than NiMH batteries, which enables them to hold more energy that is relative to their size.

The high energy density of LiPo batteries allows them to have a longer run time and an improved weight-to-power ratio. LiPo batteries draw power more effectively than NiMH batteries because they have lower internal resistance.

LiPo batteries are more versatile than NiMH batteries. This is because they do not have a particular shape or size, unlike NiMH batteries which are cylindrical. NiMH battery’s discharge rate is exponential as more energy is discharged; the performance of the battery reduces.

However, the LiPo battery will stay steady and agile as more energy is discharged. The only disadvantage of the LiPo battery is its life span. While NiMH batteries have around 300 to 450 charge cycles, LiPo batteries have between 150 to 300 cycles.

What Is The Best Battery To Use For Your RC Car?

The best battery to use for your RC car is LiPo batteries; they are one of the best batteries in terms of energy and speed. They are also lightweight and versatile. Using a LiPo battery for your RC car makes it move at a faster speed and has a longer run time. Some of the best LiPo batteries you can purchase are:

Venom RC LiPo Battery

The Venom RC LiPo battery has different adapters making it compatible with different models of RC cars. Using this battery guarantees your RC vehicle longer power and lasting time. Its capacity is 5000 mAh, and the maximum continuous discharge is 125A. It comes with a universal plug, EC3 plug, Dean plug, and RC adapter plug attachments for universal compatibility.

Gens Ace Lipo Battery

With a 5000mAh 2S 50C discharge current, the Gens Ace LiPo battery will run longer between recharges and reach the maximum torque. When compared to other low voltage batteries, the Gens Ace Lipo Battery does not overheat and discharge in a short time. The capacity of this battery is 5000 mAh, the voltage is 7.4 volts, the configuration is 2S1P, and it works with a 4.0mm Bullet to Deans Plug connector.


Final Thoughts

Getting the best battery for your RC car can be challenging, especially when you know nothing about RC car batteries. This blog post will make you understand RC car batteries and the best battery to purchase.

Although most RC vehicles come with NiMH batteries, you can easily replace the battery with a LiPo battery which is the best battery for an RC vehicle. You can get a LiPo battery at any hardware or car dealer store near you.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.