What’s the Difference Between 12V and 24V Cars For Kids?




Difference between 12V and 24V cars

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Most power wheels operate with either 12V or 24V electrical power. A higher number of volts (V) means the car is more powerful. While most motorized cars are designed for indoor use, some are powerful enough to tackle tough terrains.

Power wheels differ in terms of the battery running time, speed, and weight of the car. This brings us to the question, what’s the difference between 12V and 24V cars? A 12V motor draws twice the current that a 24-V motor uses.

So, if your kid wants to go up a steep drive, a 24V ride-on will give more power than the 12V counterparts. The wires in a 12V motor will also be twice the size compared to a 24V motor which runs more efficiently.

If your child is young, he or she won’t need too much power. You should get a car with the same styling as that with the higher voltage but with less power. So which voltage is right for your child? Read on and learn more!

Looking for the Best Car for your Kids?
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Our 24V Kids Car Recommendations
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How fast does a 6 volt go?

Most 6V power rides are designed for children aged 2-4 years. The average speed for these motorized vehicles is 2-3mph but it will depend on the surface and weight of the rider.

At full speed, you should expect the battery to last for about 40-60 minutes. Unlike other power wheels with a relatively higher voltage, these cars cannot deal with mud and uneven surfaces.

Because the motor should match the voltage, you cannot put a 6V battery into a 12V battery car. If you do this, it will be underpowered and the car may not move at all but you can put a 12V battery into a 6V Power Wheels.

How fast does a 12 volt go?

12V power wheel can produce a maximum speed of 4-5 mph. Such cars are suitable for outdoor use as they can easily go through rough surfaces.

For this reason, they should be used by kids aged 3-6 years. When the kids are a little grown-up, this is the best car to drive in front of the house. Some 12V cars can have two seats.

How fast does a 24 volt go?

These 24V power wheels are specially designed for kids who like to drive up hills, on grass, and gravel surfaces. The maximum speed is 6mph and the kid can enjoy the ride for 2-4 hours before running out of battery juice.

Is 24V faster than 12V?

Yes. Power wheels with 24V batteries can reach a maximum speed of 6 mph while those with 12V batteries can reach up to 6mph. But the actual speed will depend on other factors like the weight of the rider and terrain.

Funny enough, the battery life doesn’t depend on the voltage. Make sure you charge it according to the instructions to increase efficiency.

How can I make my 12V faster?

If your kids have outgrown a 12V power wheel, you can make it faster and more enjoyable. One way of boosting power is by installing a new motor. Just flip the car upside down and remove the wheels to access the hardware. 

Use a screwdriver to remove the motor. Next, check the compatibility to ensure it’s of the right size. After that, use a solder-free connector and apply some pressure on a flathead screwdriver to remove the motor of the secondary car. If you can’t, you can buy a new one.

Insert the motor into the power wheel’s hardware and put the screws back. The motor should solidly fit with some twisting and turning.

Then, attach the wires of the original motor with a new one. You can also insert a new battery at this point. Finally, put the power wheels back and the speed will greatly increase.

Another way of increasing speed is by installing an aftermarket battery but make sure you look at the exact specifications. Simply pull the connector from the battery and gently clip the positive and negative wires together. And because most 12V batteries are lead-based, you must note the voltage and size.

Then, connect the fuse to the positive of the battery connector (the positive side should be white or red). After you crimp the wire connector, you can use fuse holders.

To increase the speed of your power wheel, you should connect the positive terminal and the negative one to the other battery. Don’t forget to insulate the remaining wires. If one battery is worn out, you may not get the desired results.

How to Wire 2 Batteries for Power Wheels

For more information on this subject please see how to put a bigger battery in Ride On Cars.

You should always locate a place where the second battery can be placed. The distance also matters because you may have to use a universal connector.

Other factors that can increase the speed of your ride include the weight of the car and the type of tires used.  If you want to read more on this we have an article dedicated to it: How to modify power wheels to go faster, up to 18 MPH.

Difference between 12V and 24V cars systems

Electric toy cars require some kind of power for navigation, lights, and more. Those that have a 12V electrical system tend to be more powerful than their 24V counterparts.

Generally, a 12V system runs on a 13.8-volt alternator. If you want to buy your kid a ride-on, you may be wondering whether you should choose a 12V or a 24V power system. The power system should determine the best voltage to use for a specific situation.

Another difference between these two electrical systems is the surface for riding. A 12V volt system will ride well on tarmac, grass, and gravel surfaces while a 24V system can tackle any type of terrain.

The size of the voltage system will also determine the load it can carry and at what speed. You expect the 24V voltage system to carry more weight than the one that runs on 12V.

A fully charged 12V system can supply power to the motor for about 2-3 hours while a 24V voltage system will allow the kid to have fun for over 4 hours. However, this will depend on other factors like the weight of the rider, terrain, and speed.

In terms of age, most manufacturers recommend power wheels that use a 12V system to kids aged 4-7 years. On the other hand, a 24V system is suitable for 6 to 8-year-olds. Looking at the skill level, the 24V power rides are suitable for individuals who are more experienced.

Before you buy these toys, you should always consider the child’s age. Be on the lookout for manipulative manufacturers who want to make some quick bucks.

Since a 24V power system allows the riders to attain a maximum speed of 6mph, the parental control feature comes into play. Some of the risks associated with these motorized toys are falling, hitting barriers, and tipping.

Your kids could get hurt if they drive at maximum speed on a 24V power system. Whether you choose the 12V or 24V power wheel, safety is key.

If 20 amps are required to power a 12V motor, then you only need 10 amps on a 24V motor to achieve the same performance. Simply put, if you use 24V on a 12V motor, you could damage the power wheel.

The physical size of the motor determines the output. There’s also a slight difference when it comes to wiring. A 12V system has thicker wires than a 24V electrical system.

How can I know whether the power wheel is 12V or 24V?

While a power wheel will come with a manual, you can still get more information about power by checking the fuse box. The operating voltage will also be indicated on the breakers. But the best way is to put a meter on the battery.

If the reading is under 15V, then you have a 12V battery in the car. You can also count the caps on the battery – 6 cups mean that you have a 12V battery.

If you use 24V in a 12V car, you could be giving too much power to the motor and it might burn. Similarly, using a 12V battery in a 24V power wheel can make it not function properly. So, before you think of replacing the battery on the power wheel, be sure you’re buying the right one.

12V or 24V power wheel, which one is right for your kid?

There’s no better way of giving your kid a sense of freedom than investing in an electric car. A 24V power wheel will help you explore the car and enjoy different terrains including off-road driving. But with so many models available, many factors determine the best ride for your kid.

First, you should consider the number of riders. Does your kid like to enjoy the ride alone or in the company of friends?

Most 24V power wheels will have a sitting capacity for two while the 12V may have space for the driver only. The 24V is also powerful enough to carry children who exceed the maximum weight capacity recommended in 12V vehicles. 

If you force your overweight child to drive a power wheel that is within his or her weight capacity, you could damage the structure of the car.  If your child is above the normal weight limit or older we found power wheels with higher weight limits and speed.

How about the charge and running times? Most 24V power vehicles can last up to 3 hours as opposed to 12V counterparts which run for only 1-2 hours before running out of battery juice. If your child wants to enjoy the ride for more hours, he’s better with a 24V motorized car.


Whether you choose 6V, 12V, or 24V power wheel, you should consider your child’s needs. If you’re buying a toy for a more experienced rider, you should go for a higher electrical system.

Your child’s age also will determine the electrical system that suits best – you don’t want a 3-year old to drive at 10 mph. Of course, more voltage means a higher price.

Always remember that motorized toys are designed for kids’ development and fun, so you should ensure their safety. Here is more information to choose the right ride-on for the proper age.

What’s the difference between 12V and 24V cars

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