NASCAR Debuts Electric Race Car Prototype Ahead of Chicago Street Race

A prototype electric NASCAR race car stands on the lawn during the NASCAR Xfinity Series The Loop 110 at Chicago Street Course on July 6, 2024.

Ben Hsu | Sportswire Icon | Getty Images

NASCAR unveiled a prototype electric race car on Saturday as part of a new initiative aimed at reducing the organization's emissions and electrifying aspects of the sport.

The initiative is a major step toward sustainability. It may seem at odds with the legacy of stock car racing, but it aligns with NASCAR’s long-term goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2035.

The launch of the vehicle, in collaboration with electrification and automation company ABB, took place a day earlier NASCAR's Chicago Street Race.

The “ABB NASCAR EV Prototype”, developed in collaboration with Chevrolet, ford And Toyotais an electrified stock car that can produce 1,000 kW (or 1,341 hp) at peak power. Like most existing hybrid or fully electric vehiclesThe race car features a regenerative braking system that converts the kinetic energy from braking into electrical energy.

ABB officials said NASCAR's plans to decarbonize its operations and reduce its carbon footprint go hand in hand with its broader energy transition taking place in the United States.

“This partnership gives us a platform to talk about the issues facing our country and the direction we are taking together as a nation,” said Chris Shigas, head of communications for ABB in the U.S.

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While there are no plans to ditch the internal combustion engine in stock car racing, the initiative could explore the possibilities for high-performance electric racing, officials said.

Both organizations will also explore which aspects of NASCAR racing, certain track and office operations, and long-haul transportation can be electrified.

“We’re going to look at all of their operations — everything from their long-haul trucks to the golf carts that go around the tracks to the electric vehicle charging,” Shigas said. “This is a multi-year partnership that has the opportunity to really be a showcase for how not just NASCAR, but businesses across the United States can make their operations more sustainable.”

Last year, NASCAR announced a commitment to net-zero operational emissions by 2035It included prioritizing 100% renewable electricity at its own racetracks and NASCAR facilities, expanding on-site EV charging stations and developing a sustainable racing fuel.

Eric Nyquist, NASCAR senior vice president, said in a statement that the organization's partnership with ABB “will contribute to efforts to decarbonize our operations as we strive to achieve net-zero operational emissions over the next decade.”

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