By Jerry Jordan, Editor
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Just over a year after Kickin’ the Tires broke the news that NASCAR was looking into an electric vehicle option for racing, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer, confirmed they have built and tested an electric racecar.
The car was tested at zMax Dragway and had positive results but there appear to be no plans, currently, to start a new racing series, he said. Rather, he said, NASCAR is gauging the interest of its fanbase and looking at all alternative fuel options for the future.
“A lot of work has gone on at the R&D department around EV. We have a car, we have an alternative body style with that car,” O’Donnell told Kickin’ the Tires during the State of the Sport address with him and NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “I would not look at us to specifically go racing with it. I think you could see it showcased at certain events next year. But there are other forms that we want to look at. I am actually headed to Japan on Thursday to go look at hydrogen racing, specifically. So, we have a contingent heading over to Japan to look at that.
“We want to, kind of, test each and every form and we are really excited about what our teams can put together around an electric car but, again, we want to showcase that to the fans and look for additional technologies, as well.”
Kickin’ the Tires has confirmed that NASCAR will test its electric racecar in December, this time at Martinsville Speedway and it could make its public debut to fans, as early as, January 2024.
The reaction from manufacturers on the news of an EV racecar potentially in the NASCAR spectrum was not a shocker. There are already EVs racing in other series around the world.
“All I will say is that NASCAR has a great fanbase and while I say these three national series work for us, they do,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director for Ford Performance. “But is there an opportunity to do more in front of those same fans, yes.”