Ride-on toys include sit-on riders, kid-sized motorized vehicles and electric vehicles which come in vast variety like miniature bikes, scooters, cars, jeeps, trucks and planes.
All these different vehicles come in many forms and dimensions. Each one is made to look as realistic as possible and its price depends on its looks, finish, and the power it has.
In this guide we'll explain the key things to note before you choose a specific ride on voltage for your kid.
Table of Contents
Recommended Age and Battery Voltage For Ride On Toys?
Before purchasing a ride on toy you have take into account your childs age as age and battery voltage go hand in hand. Generally speaking, the toy voltage directly relates to its power so the higher the voltage the faster the toy will be. Some people consider weight but it’s not a necessarily accurate determinant.
6V ride on toys are suited for children between 2-4 years. They are suited for tarmac surfaces and on average they run for about 45-60 minutes reaching a speed of 3 Mph.
12V ride on toys are suited for children between 3-6 years, They run for about 1 to 2 hours and usually have a max speed of 5 Mph. They are typically made for tarmac, gravel or grass surfaces.
24V ride on toys are suited for children ages 6-9. They have a battery life of 2-4 hours and maximum speed of about 6 Mph. They are a good choice for driving up hills, tarmac, grass or gravel surfaces.
36V Ride on Toys are suited for children between 7-10 and have a top speed of about 15Mph. Expect your child to have a lot of fun with toys of this volt.
48V Ride On Toys suited for children who are 10 years and above, with top speed of about 18mph. The fastest ride on toys usually have 48v batteries.
Read more: 48v Ride on Toys
You should note the age ranges are only estimates as the weight of children varies from one child to another. In that respect, the more power you have in your battery the longer it will last and this is also true for your child’s weight—the heavier or older he/she is the more power the toy will need to move which might increase the battery depletion rate.
A Look Inside An Electric Ride On Toy...
The most important components of every electric car for kids are the motor and battery. The size of the motor determines the power it can produce which in turn determine the load it can carry and the speed at which it can go.
The battery which is the source of energy for the motor is based on two parameters; Voltage and Ampere Hours (Ah).
As is the case with any electric system, motorized ride on toys also obtains its operating power from rechargeable batteries. Power in electrical appliance is measured as product of volts with current (Amps).
A fully charged 12Ah 12V battery for a 12V ride on toy means it can supply 12V to the motor at 12 ampere for one hour or 6 ampere for two hours or 4 ampere for 3 hours etc. However other external factors - such as weight, battery life - may influence the rate at which the battery supply in the ride on car is depleted.
A battery of 24V and 60AH means its power capacity is maximum 720 watts ignoring efficiency/ losses and as such it is suitable for both 24V ride-on toys and 12V ride-on cars. So with a 720 watts requirement, it can also be met by one 24V and 30 AH battery but selection of the battery will depend upon payload and duration of operation etc.
As explained before that the speed depends on power which depends on the size of the battery and it’s motor.
It is important to note that speed of the average adult when doing a brisk walk is around 4 miles per hour, younger kids using a motorized toy with speed limit lower than 4 Mph can be safely supervised. One of the fastest electric ride on toy for older kids is the MotoTec MT-GK-01 Black Off Road Go Kart.
Ride On Toy Voltage Depletion Rate
Take an example of a fully charged 12V(12Ah) battery. This usually means it’s capable of supplying 12 Volts to the motor at 12Ah for an hour, or 6Ah for two hours, 4Ah for 3hours and so on. But this is largely dependent on other external factors that will determine the rate of voltage depletion on your toy ride on—speed, terrain, passenger weight etc.
What Is The Difference Between 6V and 12V Ride on Cars
Now you may be asking yourself "What is the difference between 6V and 12V ride on Cars".
- Ride ons differ with respect to the weight of the car, the terrain they can handle, running time and speed. The main difference between a 6V ride on and a 12V ride on would be the run time (battery life), the terrain it can be used on and the age recommendations.
- Likewise, 24V ride on's are significantly faster than the 12V ride on's and last longer while 36V ride on's improves on the speed and battery life of 24V ride on's in.
The relationship between battery and ride on toys is explained in the table below.
Recommended Age Group
2-3 years old
3 to 5 years old
4 to 6 years old
6 to 8 years old
8 to 15 years old
>15 years old
What To Know Before You Buy A Fast Ride On Toy
Having said this, there are few important things to keep in consideration before you pull out your credit card to buy a fast ride on toy for your toddler.
Nonelectrical ride on toys such as tricycles, bicycles, paddle car or scooters offer advantages like exercise helping children develop a sense of balance and coordination along with of course, in addition they tend to be cheaper to purchase and maintain.
But if you have decided to buy motorized ride on toy then one needs to take into consideration issues like
- Age of the child
- Skills Required
- The available range
Safety Is Everything
The foremost concern for every parent is safety and security of the kids. Every motorized toy will have some risk associated with it. It should be noted that no toy will be 100% safe. It is advisable to know the risk and take adequate precautions. Some of the risks associated are tipping, falling and hitting any barriers, etc.
It is advisable to opt for toys with features like seat belts, battery cover, motor cover along with adequate hand brakes or pedal brakes. Children should also wear protective gear to like helmet, elbow and knee guards, etc, as a means of additional precaution while playing.
The toy selected should be stable. It should not tip over when turning. Its center of gravity should be low and the seating should be in such a way that he is in-between the wheels to add to the stability.
Before purchasing, a test of the stability should be done by giving it a light push on side. Initially, steering of toys by kids needs to be supervised till they master it. And the toy should be used in an open area with flat surface to avoid accidents.
The choice of toy should be made keeping in mind the child’s age and talent for eventually it will be the child who is using the toy. Usually, these decisions are forced on a parent based on manipulative advertising by manufacturers whose aim is to ensure that the marketing strategies for fast kids electric car seen on TV or newspaper by their intended target audience.
However, a parent’s decision should also involve some discretion – and should center on functionality and utility in mind. The toy should provide entertainment along with building some key skills in the child. When a toy challenges a child mentally, the utility value of it shoots up immensely and helps in aiding the decision-making process.
If there is no challenge except novelty, then after a few months the novelty wears off and the beautiful and expensive toy is left in a corner gathering dust.
There is no one size fit all schemes in motorized toys. We have to make sure that the toy is comfortable and the kid fits into the toy without having to struggle. There are some toys which can be adjusted as the kid grows, this increases time of utilization.
There are a huge variety of toys to choose from and they are easily available at various online platforms and stores. It has been noticed that even after taking all the precautions and ensuring safety there are still a number of kids who land up in emergency ward of hospitals.
Staying Safe On A Fast Ride On
It is legal and mandatory requirement for all manufacturers to follow guidelines and provide warning labels. Manufacturers give instructions of use specific to age groups, but it is the parents and elders who have to ensure implementation by providing supervision. Besides supervision we should also follow these general guidelines while shopping for toys:
- Fabric used in toys should be flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Fabric used in toys should be washable.
- Paint used in toys should be lead-free paint.
- Art material used should be Nontoxic
- Toys should not make noise like rattles or squeak.
- Toys should have a battery enclosure that is secured tight and should not be opened by kids. Battery has chemicals which can be hazardous.
- There should not be any sharp ends or anything which can be pulled loose
- Ride on toys should not be used without helmets that meet current safety standards and other recommended safety gear, like hand, wrist and shin guards. Look for CPSC or Snell certification on the labels.
- Ride on toys should have been labelled UL, meaning they meet safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratories.
There are some more precautions which one should take to ensure safety and while having fun. Parents should teach kids to secure the toys after playing with them. They should also frequently check to ensure there is no breakage thus making the toy unsafe. Wood if used shouldn’t have splinters. There should be no rusty parts and moving portions should be adequately oiled or greased.
Properly dispose of broken toys or repair them as soon as possible. Outdoor toys should be stored properly to avoid contact with rain and snow when not in use. You should also ensure that all toys are cleaned as per manufacturers direction.
There are a lot more considerations to look out for before choosing a voltage for your ride on toy. Your child’s age should be a crucial factor to consider - you don’t want your 4-year old to be driving at 18mph. Charging the ride ons should be done according to the manufacturers specifications to maintain the efficiency of the battery.
There are many options available to choose from and with proper supervision and caution at time of use; every toy can be used for giving a wonderful memorable experience to our kid. It is very important to remember that toys are meant for fun and should be a part of kids’ development and growing up and should never become an extension of parents’ personality.