NASCAR shows off an EV prototype

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NASCAR showed off a new EV prototype stock car at the Chicago Street Race today as part of a presentation on its sustainability initiatives, which it has a new partner for in Swedish electrification firm ABB. The car, which looks more like a performance crossover like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, is in many ways a total departure from the traditional stock car. Don’t expect the ABB NASCAR EV Prototype to replace the fuel-burning V8 anytime soon, though.

NASCAR says the car has three electric motors — one in the front and two in the back — powered by a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery that can generate 1,000kW “at peak power,” according to today’s announcement.

Before its unveiling, the $1.5 million prototype had only been driven by NASCAR driver David Ragan, reported The Associated Press. Ragan told the outlet that his fastest lap at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia was “two-tenths of a second slower” than a typical racer, despite it having almost twice the acceleration. Unsurprisingly, the weight was a big factor, slowing him down in the turns.

Traditional stock cars aren’t heading for their final left turn, though there are rumors NASCAR will introduce hybrids in a few years. Still, it could do something similar to the ABB-sponsored, all-electric Formula E series; NASCAR says it “may explore possibilities around high-performance racing,” according to NBC News.

Update July 7th: Embedded Fox Sports’ video of the car in action.

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