NASCAR to Test Its First Electric Compact Utility Vehicle at the Clash in Los Angeles

Published 01/23/2024, 2:17 PM EST

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For a while, NASCAR has been toying with the idea of dipping into the electric market. While the reaction has been largely mixed to negative, it is clear that this going to be an eventuality. Now, reports have emerged that NASCAR will conduct a demonstration run at LA Coliseum ahead of the Clash. Admittedly, there should have been a demo run back in 2023, but better late than never.

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The new vehicle will be a massive deviation from the current crop of NASCAR cars. First and foremost, those cars will have lights, which are absent on the traditional Cup cars for the sake of weight saving. Admittedly, there are no discussions yet about a full-fledged electric series. However, NASCAR may want to gauge everyone’s reaction when David Ragan becomes the first driver to run the car.

The electric NASCAR car was reasonably well-prepared

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Of course, NASCAR is not throwing everyone in the deep end with this car. As per some reports, NASCAR put the car through its paces during a multi-day test at the Martinsville Speedway. If some people were worried about the speed difference, the test showed off some positive signs. To be exact, the electric car’s lap times were within tenths of its gas-powered counterpart.

Why Are NASCAR Fans Dead Set Against Electric Racing?

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This is actually good news because many drivers had been complaining about the need for more horsepower. The current NASCAR Cup cars can reach up to speeds of 200 mph, so they would dearly love faster cars. Of course, critics would scoff at the idea of electric cars matching speeds of their gas brethren. However, the likes of Formula E has shown that electric motors are capable of this. As a matter of fact, the current Gen 3 cars can achieve 200 mph or 322 kph.

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NASCAR could attract manufacturers with the electric technology

Toyota Racing Development president, David Wilson said, “Obviously social and market forces are driving all of us as car manufacturers to be respectful and to be sensitive to put carbon reduction at the front of our business. When you take it to the race track, I think every motorsport globally is faced with the same pressures, including NASCAR. The question is how and when and what. What I’ll say is all of us sitting up here have been working very closely with NASCAR on new technologies, on a focus towards reduction of carbon, but it continues to be a work in progress.”

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Say what you will about electric racing, but this is the cutting edge of technology. Owing to the technology race, many automobile manufacturers who are selling electric cars or hybrids in the market, will jump in. Take Ford and Toyota, for instance. Both automobile giants have built and sold many cars that are electric or have electric components. Even Chevrolet has a number of electric cars, though not exactly in the sedan class, that would be suitable for NASCAR.

WATCH THIS STORY: Electrifying the Track: NASCAR’s Secret EV Revolution

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Written by:

Dhruv George

14,292Articles

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Growing up as a Formula One fan, I was always vaguely aware that there was a sport called NASCAR. But when I actually got to know more about it, it didn't take me long to get hooked. My closest encounter with NASCAR was back in 2009 when my family took a picture of me next to one of Dale Earnhardt Jr?s cars.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Ramesh

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