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NASCAR Finally Unveils EV Prototype in Chicago, Electric Series Still a Long Way Off

nascar ev race car
NASCAR Unveils EV Prototype at Chicago Street RaceBradley Barnes

Last November, Road and Track reported on a leaked concept for an electric vehicle designed for the future of NASCAR. Saturday Morning, before the second annual Chicago Street Race the vehicle was finally revealed.

The industry has known for a while that NASCAR was actively developing a new electric race vehicle, and originally, the reveal was slated for The Busch Clash at the LA Coliseum earlier this year. Torrential rain made NASCAR alter their plans that weekend, moving the race up one day and shuttering any extra events.

In partnership with ABB, NASCAR made their announcement on Fourth of July weekend in Chicago, one of the largest markets that the series visits. ABB, a leader in electrification and automation, has signed on to be the first Official Partner of NASCAR IMPACT, the platform behind NASCAR's mission to strengthen its communities and contribute to a healthier planet.

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“ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, and we help customers globally to optimize, electrify, and decarbonize their operations,” said Ralph Donati, ABB Executive Vice President. “The objective of the collaboration between NASCAR, ABB in the United States, and the NASCAR industry is to push the boundaries of electrification technology, from EV racing to long-haul transportation to facility operations.”

NASCAR will not be giving up its combustion engines anytime soon as the sanctioning body stays committed to the racing that made its name.An all-electric NASCAR series is still a ways off, and this is just the first domino to fall as NASCAR looks to decarbonize its operations and reduce its own carbon footprint to zero by 2035, the press release reported.

NASCAR went to work on creating the EV prototype shortly after finishing the Next Gen car completed in 2021 and debuted in 2022.

The ABB NASCAR EV Prototype was developed in collaboration between NASCAR and all three of the series OEMs, Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota. It was designed by the same engineers that brought the beauty of a NASCAR 'stock' car to the 24 Hours of Le Mans through Garage 56 in 2023.

The race vehicles used in NASCAR have long been stock in name only. The work to electrify stays on pace with the current shift in production to more EV models.

The new NASCAR EV does resemble a Crossover, as R&T first reported; now we know more about its components. The body sits on the same chassis as both the Next Gen and Garage 56 cars. The electrified stock car has three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors, one in the front and two in the rear, supplying power to all four tires. The tires are designed exclusively by Goodyear Racing Eagle. Peak power will top out at 1,000 kW, fueled by a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery.

Regenerative braking will be in place to convert kinetic energy into engine power. Most importantly, the car aims to race like a NASCAR Cup car, with suspension, brakes, and wheels all influenced by the current Next Gen specs.

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