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Will a Lipo battery give my car more run time than a NIMH battery?
A battery’s run time in your car is determined by its capacity, not its chemistry. Most of the time, the biggest number printed on a battery is its capacity: “5000,” “6500,” etc. Look closely and you’ll usually see “mah” after the number, which stands for “milliamp hours.” The bigger the number, the greater the capacity of the battery, and the longer your car will run. If you’ve got a 2000mah Lipo and a 4000mah NIMH, your car will run longer on the NIMH battery—it has more capacity, which is like having a bigger fuel tank. “But what if I have a Lipo and NIMH battery with the same capacity,” you ask? They may technically run the same amount of time, but the final few minutes of a NIMH pack’s run time—where the car runs slower and slower— isn’t exactly quality drive time. A Lipo pack, on the other hand, stays fast and punchy until the speed control’s low-voltage detection kicks in. If the Lipo pack and NIMH pack both give you 15 minutes of run time, the Lipo will be a full 15 minutes of fun, while the NIMH will be more like 10 minutes of good drive time, then five minutes of ever-slower driving around.
Even if a NIMH and Lipo battery have the same capacity, the Lipo will feel like it delivers more run time because its output stays strong throughout the run.
The big number on most batteries is its capacity in milliamps.