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NASCAR officially rolls out EV in Chicago

NASCAR debuted its EV prototype car on Saturday morning in Chicago while announcing a partnership with ABB to become the first Official IMPACT partner of the sport.

The car – ABB NASCAR EV Prototype – was developed between NASCAR and its three manufacturer partners. NASCAR engineers involved in the build were also responsible for the Next Gen and Garage 56 projects. And the vehicle shares similarities to the Next Gen car, as well as the Garage 56 project from last season, with the body sitting on a modified Next Gen chassis. 

David Ragan has been the test driver for NASCAR during the development. It’s been a two-year journey by NASCAR, with the earliest indication of an EV car happening during the summer of 2022. 

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The ABB NASCAR EV Prototype has three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors (one in the front, two in the rear; all-wheel drive) that supply power directly to the specially designed Goodyear tires. There is a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery, and the tunable powertrain can produce 1,000 kW at peak power. 

Other details: 

  • Length: 185.5”

  • Width: 78.6”

  • Height: 56”

  • Wheelbase: 110”

  • Weight: 4,000 lbs 

  • Body: Generic CUV body styling made of flax fiber composite 

  • Chassis: Steel tubing w/bolt-on front clip and front/rear bumpers 

  • Voltage level: 756 VDC max

  • Cooling: Water glycol

  • Steering: Rack and pinion 

  • Suspension: Double wishbone billet aluminum control arms w/adjustable coil over shock absorbers 

  • Brakes: Six piston monobloc front calipers/four piston monobloc rear calipers (heavy duty disc package) 

  • Wheels: 18” x 12” forged aluminum 

“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.”

NASCAR planned to debut the ABB NASCAR EV Prototype at the L.A. Coliseum before the Busch Light Clash in early February. However, because it was an unexpectedly abbreviated weekend due to inclement weather, the showcase never occurred. 

The partnership with ABB is another move for NASCAR toward its public sustainability targets. NASCAR wants to reduce its carbon footprint to zero across its core operations by 2035 through electrification and innovative solutions. 

“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.”

While there are no plans to develop a new series, NASCAR will not completely rule out the idea for the future. However, if one were to materialize, it would not replace its current competition and the internal combustion engine. 

Story originally appeared on Racer