Friday, July 19, 2024

NASCAR Reveals 1000kW Electric Prototype

The earth-shaking roar of V8 engines is one of NASCAR’s defining traits and that is set to remain a key part of the series in the coming years. However, the American series is also looking to accelerate its decarbonisation efforts, which is why it launched a 1000kW electric demonstrator car during last weekend’s Cup Series round in Chicago.

The ABB NASCAR EV Prototype has been developed under a new partnership between NASCAR and ABB, the Swedish-Swiss electrical equipment company that is also title sponsor of the FIA Formula E World Championship.

The all-wheel-drive demonstrator was developed in collaboration with current NASCAR manufacturers Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Engineers who worked on the existing Next Gen car and the Garage 56 entry at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans were also involved in the project.

Power is generated by three UHP six-phase electric motors from STARD. One is positioned at the front and two are located at the rear. The 10000kW powertrain also includes a 78kWh liquid-cooled battery. Kinetic energy from regenerative braking is converted into power.

Photo: NASCAR

The prototype’s bodywork is in a generic Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) style and is constructed with flax-based composite. The chassis is modified from the current Next Gen car that races in the Cup Series, while the steering, suspension, brakes and wheels are all directly derived from it.

‘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 decarbonise our operations as we pursue achieving net-zero operating emissions over the next decade.’

NASCAR has stated that it remains ‘committed to the historic role’ of the internal combustion engine in racing. However, it also wants to reduce the carbon footprint across its ‘core operations’ to zero by 2035. In the shorter term, it is working to source 100 per cent renewable electricity at its owned tracks and facilities by 2028, installing on-site electric vehicle charging points as part of that drive. NASCAR’s collaboration with ABB, under the NASCAR Impact sustainability programme, is designed to help reach those targets.

‘ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, and we help customers globally to optimise, electrify and decarbonise 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.’

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