Electric NASCAR racer arrives at Chicago Street Race with 1300 hp (!)


Electric NASCAR racer arrives at Chicago Street Race with 1300 hp (!)

The first-ever electric NASCAR racer made its debut at the Chicago Street Race today wearing ABB livery and packing a tunable powertrain good for up to 1,000 kW (1340 hp) of peak power!

NASCAR is calling its sustainability efforts “NASCAR Impact,” and with the (somewhat delayed) launch of the all-electric prototype racer, ABB becomes Impact’s first Official Partner. The sanctioning body hopes the electric race car will spark conversations that lead to more sustainable communities and contribute to a healthier planet.

“There could not be a more optimal moment in time to announce our first Impact partner than in tandem with the debut of the ABB NASCAR EV Prototype at the Chicago Street Race,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer. “ABB is an industry leader and will help in efforts to decarbonize our operations as we pursue achieving net-zero operating emissions over the next decade.”

Electric NASCAR

Electric NASCAR prototype; via NASCAR.

The car itself was developed in collaboration with NASCAR OEM partners Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota, and was built by the same engineers responsible for both the Next Gen car and the Garage 56 entry that raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last summer. The sanctioning collaborated with each OEM to ensure the final shape didn’t give one or another any kind of advantage – and, if the public responds well to a body shape that could be sticker’ed up to look like Mustang Mach-E, Chevy Blazer SS, or Toyota bZ4X, maybe it could also be made to look like a Chrysler Airflow, Kia EV6, or VW ID.4, too.

And that may be the point, especially if NASCAR has ambitions to grow the brand and attract new manufacturers to the series.

The electric race car features an all-wheel drive tubular chassis propelled by three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors (one at the front, two in the rear) that send power to four Goodyear Racing Eagle tires designed specifically for the EV’s added weight and monstrous torque.

A 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery provides the electrons, and the tunable powertrain can produce up 1,000 kW of peak power (that’s more than 1300 hp to you and me). Regenerative braking converts kinetic energy into power, which NASCAR says helps make the new race car “ideal” for road courses and short oval tracks.

The car’s body is made of a sustainable, recyclable, flax-based composite. The only person who has driven it so far is semi-retired NASCAR driver David Ragan, who is expected to take the car out on the track Sunday.

Electrek’s Take

Electric NASCAR debuts in Chicago; via ABB.

NASCAR says it’s serious about making operations across its entire business more sustainable, and that moving its operations from scope 1 (fuel burned) to scope 2 (electric) is a critical element of NASCAR’s sustainability strategy.

The company says it will begin sourcing 100% renewable electricity at all of its race tracks and facilities by 2028, and add both expanded waste diversion efforts and on-site EV charging stations (dollars to donuts they’ll be provided by ABB, as well).

At the end of the day, though, the best thing NASCAR can do here is become a thought-leader, driving some of the late adopters to electrify one or two new cars earlier than they might otherwise. If the new electric NSACAR proves to be fast, it may do just that.


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