As one of the world’s most reputable auto racing sanctioning companies, NASCAR oversees around 1,500 races in 48 US states each year. There’s no denying the fact that when it comes to stock auto racing, NASCAR is the first thing that pops up in everyone’s minds.
The company was founded in February 1948 by Bill France Sr. Since 2018, the CEO of NASCAR has been Bill’s son, Jim France. Each year, racing fans get to witness tons of exciting events, such as the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series, as well as international competitions such as PEAK Mexico Series Pinty’s Series, Whelen Euro Series, and ARCA Menards Series.
Even though the cars that are participating in these events are stock, they have roaring engines, which is one of the features that make the heartbeats of true racing fans speed up whenever they see a car roaming by.
These days, future trends are being explored as a way to better car racing, and one of the concepts that are often talked about is electric cars. That is exactly the topic that we wanted to discuss in this article as we are going to see whether NASCAR will go electric at any point in the future. But first, let’s share one interesting detail about its influence and popularity.
Its Influence Spans in Other Industries
As mentioned earlier, NASCAR is a true embodiment of car racing. That is the reason why it managed to amass global popularity and attract millions of fans from various countries. The interesting part about it is that NASCAR racing has actually become so popular that it influenced other industries as well.
Online casinos are one of those industries, and we are sure that this is a mention that you didn’t think of originally. Research has shown that NASCAR fans are also fans of wagering their money online, whether that is on the races or just by playing casino games.
Game providers became well-aware of this fact over the years, which is why they decided to make sure that each NASCAR fan has the best gaming experience when registering at online casinos supplied by them. Hence, they created various NASCAR-themed concept games and slots that you can enjoy at any time and place from any device.
Moreover, once you register at these online casinos, you will also be able to play classics, such as roulette. Online casinos are tracking the latest trends in the industry, and one of them is crypto payments. Hence, if you own some type of crypto, let’s say Bitcoin, you will be pleased to know that you can play bitcoin roulette.
This just shows that when it comes to NASCAR racing, the sky is the limit as this sport can grow to any level imaginable. With that being said, let’s get back to the original topic of this article and see whether NASCAR will ever go electric.
The Current State of NASCAR Vehicles
Currently, NASCAR vehicles are stock cars with roaring engines. They were referred to as Generation 6, or just Gen-6 cars, and were part of NASCAR’s project to make their cars look more like their street-legal counterparts.
They debuted back in February 2013 at the 2013 Daytona 500 and had a 5.6L V8 engine with a 4-speed manual, plus reverse. The hood and deck of the cars were composed of carbon fiber and had a digital dashboard, and the interesting part about them is that even though they received some criticism, statistics showed that they performed quite well.
They managed to set 16 new records on the 23 tracks that they were used on. The Gen-6 car also provided a 1.267-second margin of victory between drivers, which was the lowest since 2005. Fans perceived the car positively. A poll showed that the number of fans who are likely to buy Gen-6 cars rose from 49% to 76%.
However, some of the drivers were not too fond. One of them was Denny Hamlin, who said that they are difficult to pass with and claimed that Gen-6 cars are worse than Gen-5 and CoT cars. It is worth noting that these types of comments were made when CoT cars came out.
As for the future, a new concept is set to debut, and its name is NextGen cars or Generation 7 (Gen-7). Let’s see what this car has in store.
Does the Future Start With Gen-7 Cars?
Gen-7 cars, better known as NextGen cars, are NASCAR’s product that is set to make its debut on the 2022 Daytona 500. The car’s original date was scheduled for 2021, but it got pushed back a year. This car comes with quite a few improvements from the Gen-6 cars.
First off, instead of having a 4-speed manual, NextGen cars will come with a 5-speed manual. Moreover, the car is likely to use aerodynamic vents on the hood, a stepped front splitter, and a redesigned side skirt to reduce side force. One of the most notable changes is the addition of a rear diffuser, which is set to be used for the first time in history.
Although changes to the refueling system are also set to take place, there’s no information on whether the car will feature electric motors or even utilize a hybrid system. Yes, there were some rumors that a hybrid system might be used, which is the case with other racing championships such as Formula 1, but nothing has been confirmed.
That leads everyone to believe that for now, NASCAR intends to remain petrol-orientated and not go for electric cars in the near future. That brings up another question – will this type of racing ever go electric?
Will NASCAR Go Electric?
If you are a fan of the hybrid system, you will be pleased to know that NASCAR is looking into this concept and considering implementing it in the future. The good part about it is that the noise of the roaring engines will not be diminished, meaning that you can consider this as an upgrade.
Steve Phelps has commented on hybrid cars and stated that this is something that is expected to come. The real question is, when is the right time to launch these cars?
All of this information leads us to believe that NASCAR really intends to switch to electric mode. Maybe not fully electric right away, but they may plan to do it in stages as a way to make the changes more acceptable to the fans.
To be honest, this does not come as a massive surprise, and here’s why. Many racing promotions have already implemented hybrid systems and are intending to switch to electric in the future. We already mentioned Formula 1. The only problem that all promotions are facing at this time is the limited technology.
There’s no denying the fact that electric cars have come a long way in the past couple of years, but it’s also a fact that technology is still in its early phases. It will take several more years before a significant step is made, and various racing promotions will be able to reap the biggest benefits that come from it.
At the moment, electric cars are limited in terms of the mileage that they can cover with one battery. This problem can be solved with the concept of self-charging. We’ll use F1 cars again as an example. You surely noticed that F1 cars are able to use the potential of the battery during a race and also charge the battery at certain points.
They are using up the battery whenever they are speeding, and vice versa; friction created by braking is what powers it back up. This is definitely a feature that can be used in the future, but it will take more development.
With that being said, we can say that NASCAR is highly likely to switch over to electric mode in the future, but it is unclear when since the technology is still ahead of its time. Plus, it will have no other choice as one of the biggest challenges that all industries are facing today is carbon footprint.
Our environment is getting more polluted with each passing second, and by going electric, the carbon footprint of all these races will be brought to 0.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Cars in NASCAR
Just like any other fundamental in life, switching fully to electric cars comes with a few advantages and disadvantages. We are more than happy to discuss them, so let’s check them out.
- No carbon footprint
- Faster pitstops
- Potential to go faster
- Lower costs
- Disrupts the traditional racing feeling
Advantages of Going Electric
Let’s start with the good news first. As you can see, there are a couple of decent advantages that NASCAR will face if it switches electric. First off, we have a pro that we already mentioned – electric cars do not pollute the environment as they have a 0 carbon footprint.
One note that we feel obliged to share on this note further explains why the technology is still ahead of its time. Research shows that in order to produce these Li-batteries, companies pollute the air quite a lot, which is a bit ironic. But we believe that as technology improves, manufacturers will find an eco-friendlier solution for this matter.
Next up, pitstops in NASCAR are already fast as they are completed within seconds. That time will be greatly improved with electric mode due to the fact that the cars will not have to be refueled every once in a while. A few seconds can make the difference and can be a deciding factor on whether a driver will win or lose a certain race. This is a benefit that will suit teams a lot.
Furthermore, there is a reason why F1 cars have switched to hybrid – electric motors give them the boost to go even faster, which is extremely important in NASCAR racing. Hybrid cars will be more powerful and thus, will bring far more excitement to the table. As technology improves, fully electric cars are likely to be the “faster solution” than petrol.
Not only that, but the whole injection system and motor weigh a lot. Imagine if you can take the engine out of a car and replace it with a battery. Much lighter, right? The math here is simple – the lighter the car is, the faster it will go.
The final advantage is the fact that if NASCAR cars do not have engines, their maintenance will be less complicated, which may translate to lower costs. Add the fact that fuel will not be used anymore, and that can be extremely beneficial to teams as they can potentially make more profit and invest the money back into the competition to make it more exciting to watch.
Disadvantages of Going Electric
As for the disadvantages of NASCAR going electric, there’s just one. NASCAR’s fanbase relies on the traditional type of racing, and the roaring engines is something that they live for. If it switches to fully electric, the roaring engines will be gone as the electric mode is basically silent mode.
Yes, electric cars are required by law to produce noise, but that will be nothing compared to a V8 engine. This leads us to believe that there’s a chance that the whole NASCAR identity will be changed. It is unclear whether that will be a good or bad thing, and here’s why.
It can be a good thing as it will drive more fans from younger generations, but it also has the potential to drive off “original” fans, those that helped NASCAR become what it is today. And you know what they say if you don’t show appreciation to the original fans and your roots, the chances of failing are high.
As the world changes, the racing industry is faced with challenges that it has to overcome. One of NASCAR’s biggest challenges lies in the near future as the company will have to decide what to do on the question of whether they should switch to hybrid/fully electric. This remains to be seen, but we are eager to see how the situation will be handled.