2s vs 3s Lipo Battery | Comparison Between the Two

2s vs 3s lipo battery

RC lipo battery packs have a variety of cell numbers in series, common ones are 2s, 3s, 4s, 6s, etc. Their voltages are different, resulting in different discharge performances. Today we take 2s vs 3s lipo battery as an example to illustrate the difference between them. According to a lot of knowledge and testing,  3s provide greater impact, longer run time, and longer life than 2s lipo battery . Below, we explain the principle in detail.

Parameters: 2s vs 3s

2s vs 3s Lipo

A 2s battery consists of 2 batteries connected in series. Similarly, 3s means that it is assembled from 3 cells. The standard voltage of each battery is 3.7v, the full voltage is 4.2v, and the storage voltage is 3.8v. Therefore, on the packaging of the battery, you can see this label: 2s 8.4v, or 3s 11.1v.

It should be noted that the above refers to ordinary lithium batteries. In addition, the standard voltage of some high-voltage battery cells is 3.8v, and the full voltage is 4.35v. This version of the battery is often marked “HV”.

Configuration 2S 3S
Number of Cells 2 3
Standard Voltage(V) 7.4 11.1
Full Voltage(V) 8.4 12.6
Storage Voltage(V) 7.6 11.4

2s and 3s batteries are available for different RC powertrains. What we need to know is that when the voltage of the battery does not reach the current required by the ESC, if you continue to discharge at a high rate, it will easily swell or be damaged. This situation is equivalent to overloading the battery. So you need to choose the matching battery specification for your RC car.

The running time: 2s vs 3s

According to the test results, under the condition of the same discharge time and the same capacity, the depletion time of the 2s battery is shorter than that of the 3s battery. Higher voltages allow the motor to turn more efficiently, which means you lose less power and gain more run time. Also, at the same capacity, the 3s battery is lighter than the 2s, making your RC car more responsive and less burdensome.

Voltage trend graph of 2s and 3s batteries

If the 3s battery is adapted to your power system, theoretically, the 3s battery of the same capacity can increase your battery life by more than 33% and have a stronger impact. According to the formula: Volts * amps = watts, the calculation result:

  • 11.1*5.000=55.5Wh
  • 7.4*5.000=37Wh
  • 37/55.5=33%

With some race regulations limiting battery weight and size, racers want to switch to higher voltage batteries to further increase run time or achieve higher punch. It’s worth mentioning that many people mistakenly believe that bigger batteries mean longer runtimes. In fact, the larger the capacity, the more current the RC car consumes and the lower the efficiency. Worse yet, it generates a lot of heat and burns out the motor.

The impact: 2s vs 3s

It can be seen from the chart that under the same power, the voltage of the 3s battery is higher than that of the 2s. The motor speed depends on the voltage supplied by the battery. For example, for a 4200kv motor, according to the formula: RPM*voltage=speed, the calculated motor speeds are 31080RPM (2s lipo) and 46620 (3s lipo). It can be seen that 3s can provide more current to the motor, so C- The higher the rate, the stronger the power. 3s battery provides faster driving speed for RC car.

Capacity (%) 100 80 60 40 20 0
2S(Volt) 8.4 8.05 7.75 7.59 7.45 6.55
3S(Volt) 12.6 12.07 11.62 11.39 11.18 9.82

Compared to the 2s, when doing the same job, the 3s battery consumes less current, reducing the burden on the battery and giving it a longer lifespan. You will feel that the driving of the remote control car is very different, it is more sensitive and can do some difficult movements, such as looking up, flipping, jumping, and so on.

From the data in the table above, it can be clearly seen that whether it is a 2s or 3s lithium battery, the voltage drops very quickly under low power. So pay attention to the cut-off voltage to be set to 7v (2s) or 10.5v (3s).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use a 3s lipo with a 2s car?

It depends on whether your ESC and motor can handle 3s batteries. If it could, then it would provide more impact, longer run time, and longer life.

If the high current exceeds the rated current of the motor and the ESC, it is easy to burn out due to overheating of the motor coil after long-term operation. ESCs and motors are easy to burn out and consume a lot of power. The higher the over-rated current, the faster the damage. In this case, if you’re using a 3s lipo on a 2s car, you’ll need to replace the ESC and motor with higher amperage, but that doesn’t seem like the best solution.

2. Is It possible to run a 3s battery on a 2s RC car?

Yes. But you need to reset the cutoff voltage to around 7v, it’s not that hard.

3. How long can a 2s or 3s battery last?

It depends on your personal usage. Generally speaking, a good quality battery can be cycled 300 times or 1-3 years. Paying attention to maintenance can prolong the life of the battery.

4. What do 3s and 3s1p mean respectively?

In fact, 3s refers to 3s1p, that is, 3 sections in series (3*3.7v=11.1v), and “p” refers to parallel, but it is omitted here. Connecting in series increases the voltage of the battery and in parallel increases the current of the battery.

5. Replacing the 2s with the 3s, will I get a faster run?

It depends on the upper limit of the motor speed. The battery only provides faster acceleration. If the RPM of the motor is very low then it will not meet your expectations.

Ovonic 3s lipo battery for RC car

How to choose a 2s or 3s battery

If the ESC and the motor are suitable for the voltage of the 3s battery, you should choose the 3s, so that you can get faster speed and more powerful impact. Otherwise, the 2s battery is more stable. Ovonic offers various specifications of RC lipo batteries for the RC hobby, including RC cars, boats, FPV drones, airplanes& helicopters, etc. If you are looking for a budget 2s battery or 3s battery, Ovonic meets your needs. Ovonic’s reliable quality, stable performance, and cost-effective features are remembered by many RC enthusiasts. Ovonic has won a lot of recognition and praise in the media community.

3s battery changed to 2s

When your 3s battery fails and cannot be restored to health, for example, when the voltage of one of the cells is 0 and cannot work normally, if you don’t want to throw it away, you can change the 3s to 2s lipo battery. Remove the shrink wrap from the battery, reconnect the positive lead to the second battery, and repackage with a new balance port. Premise:

  • Have rich DIY experience and tools, otherwise, it is not recommended to try.
  • Lithium batteries are dangerous, and if they are handled incorrectly, they can easily lead to a short circuit or fire.
  • The voltages of the two cells need to be matched, and the voltage difference should be less than 0.50 volts.
    Please balance the cells before assembling.


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