Your Country

6:00pm - 5:00am

Now Playing: Keith Urban - Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me

    NASCAR INTRODUCES ITS FIRST ELECTRIC RACECAR, SILENT BUT POWERFUL

    Matt Case - July 8th, 2024 - 7:54am PDT 

    NASCAR UNVEILS FIRST ELECTRIC RACECAR, CHANGING THE RACE DAY EXPERIENCE

    CHICAGO Part of the experience of a NASCAR race is hearing the engine roar, the rumble of each car’s approach, and the zip as it whizzes past at more than 150 mph.

    NASCAR unveiled its first electric racecar Saturday in downtown Chicago, but it doesn’t thunder when the grand marshal says, “drivers, start your engines.”

    It hums. The top motorsports series in North America partnered with Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, and electrification company ABB to demonstrate a high-performance electric vehicle and gauge fan interest in electric racing. They want to represent electric vehicles, and more broadly electrification, in racing as cool, fun, and accessible, said Riley Nelson, NASCAR’s head of sustainability.

    The Associated Press got a first look at the $1.5 million prototype. The only person who has driven it so far is semi-retired NASCAR driver David Ragan. Ragan said the sound and smell were unlike anything he has experienced since first hitting the racetrack at age 11. He could hear squealing tires. He could smell the brakes.

    In gasoline-powered cars, the engine’s sound, smell, and heat from the exhaust overpower everything else. But after hundreds of laps, this time Ragan’s ears weren’t ringing. It was really wild, he said. Unlike typical sports coupes, the new car is actually a crossover utility vehicle. A huge wing on the back makes it aerodynamic enough to be a racecar.

    It accelerates almost twice as fast as top gas-powered racecars and can stop almost immediately. But its lap time at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia was two-tenths of a second slower because it takes the corners slower due to being heavier. NASCAR is not the first motorsports organization to get into electric car racing. Formula E is an all-electric racing series that started a decade ago. But its fan base is far smaller than NASCAR’s.

    The new car is part of a broader sustainability plan by NASCAR. ABB is now NASCAR’s official electrification partner. It will help NASCAR bring in more electricity from renewable sources.