NASCAR shows off an EV prototype

NASCAR showed off a new EV prototype stock car at the Chicago Street Race today as part of a presentation on its sustainability initiatives, which it has a new partner for in Swedish electrification firm ABB. The car, which looks more like a performance crossover like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, is in many ways a total departure from the traditional stock car. Don’t expect the ABB NASCAR EV Prototype to replace the fuel-burning V8 anytime soon, though.

NASCAR says the car has three electric motors — one in the front and two in the back — powered by a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery that can generate 1,000kW “at peak power,” according to today’s announcement.

NASCAR writes that the EV sits on a modified version of the Next Gen chassis NASCAR introduced in 2022, which was designed with an eye toward transition to alternative fuels. Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota helped with its development, the organization writes.

Before its unveiling, the $1.5 million prototype had only been driven by NASCAR driver David Ragan, reported The Associated Press. Ragan told the outlet that his fastest lap at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia was “two-tenths of a second slower” than a typical racer, despite it having almost twice the acceleration. Unsurprisingly, the weight was a big factor, slowing him down in the turns.

Traditional stock cars aren’t heading for their final left turn, though there are rumors it will introduce hybrids in a few years. Still, it could do something similar to the ABB-sponsored, all-electric Formula E series; NASCAR says it “may explore possibilities around high-performance racing,” according to NBC News.

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