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What if NASCAR Decided to Go Electric?
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What if NASCAR Decided to Go Electric?

If the NASCAR motor racing series embraced electric vehicle (EV) technology, how much impact would it have on the U.S. and the world car market in general? This is a question that so many have been asking.

One person that has been advocating for NASCAR to abandon its internal combustion engine cars and switch to EVs is Bill Nye. But he hasn’t done so without opposition. For instance, some people are saying that the engine noise produced by racecars - which EVs lack - is part of motor racing that fans and enthusiasts of this sport can’t do without.

Indeed, some fans aren’t seeing EVs as the future like Nye but only see his proposition as yet another enthusiasm for environmental conservation. In this regard, they’re saying that NASCAR is already doing a lot for the environment and EVs shouldn’t be part of that effort in any way!

Remember the debut of the all-electric Formula E series back in 2014? These are exactly some of the concerns that skeptics had. But the EV motor racing series has grown in leaps and bounds!

However, these skeptics also have a point: there are still numerous technological barriers. EVs are heavier and produce less horsepower. Their batteries would also likely not sustain high motor racing speeds for longer and still retain their mileage capabilities.

EV battery technology is also still very far from being capable of lasting on the massive oval racing tracks that NASCAR cars mostly use. Such tracks offer very little (if any) opportunity for the kind of regenerative braking that EVs need to add energy back into their battery packs. Worse still, pushing an EV that hard for that long would cause too much heat to build up in its battery.

But some EVs have also been proved to outperform traditional cars in various aspects. For example, the Model S P85D and the Model S P90D have beaten some of the most prolific racers in a number of drag races. So, it’s a give and take. And given a few years, all indications are that leaders in EV technology like Tesla could even out most of these concerns by building better electric racers.

Image credit: jalopnik.com

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