Photo credit: NASCAR

NASCAR Unveils its prototype electric car

NASCAR has officially unveiled its prototype electric race car, the ABB NASCAR EV Prototype.

The unveiling took place Saturday morning in Chicago as Xfinity and Cup teams went through practice and qualifying sessions. The prototype race car, which NASCAR developed in partnership with its three OEMs (Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota), was built by the same engineers responsible for the Next Gen car and the Garage 56 entry.

The ABB NASCAR EV Prototype uses three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors (one front, two rear) supplying power directly to all four specially designed Goodyear Racing Eagle tires.

Anchored by a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery, the tunable powertrain can produce 1,000 kW at peak power. Regenerative braking converts kinetic energy into power. NASCAR says this makes the car ideal for short tracks and road courses.

The Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) body made of sustainable flax-based composite sits on a modified Next Gen chassis. The steering, suspension, brakes, and wheels are all derived from the current Cup car.

There are no current plans for an electric racing series despite Dana White saying that he was doing a deal with NASCAR regarding electric cars.

This prototype is just the beginning for NASCAR as it experiments with different powertrains. According to NBC Sports, NASCAR has mentioned sustainable fuel or hydrogen as options along with electrification via a hybrid system.

Photo credit: NASCAR

NASCAR also announced a partnership with ABB, a global leader in electrification and automation. ABB will be the first partner of NASCAR IMPACT, "the sanctioning body's platform driving NASCAR's mission to strengthen its communities and contribute to a healthier planet."

NASCAR has a stated goal of reducing its carbon footprint to zero across its core operations by 2035 through electrification and innovative solutions.

"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, in a statement.

"ABB is an industry leader and will help in efforts to decarbonize our operations as we pursue achieving net-zero operating emissions over the next decade."