Kevin Harvick Says “There Is No Future” For Electric Vehicles In NASCAR – Whiskey Riff

Everybody just relax.

That’s the message from one former champion after NASCAR unveiled their electric vehicle prototype over the weekend ahead of the street course race in Chicago.

Developed in collaboration with the three current manufacturers in NASCAR, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, the prototype has already been on the track during a three-day test at Martinsville Speedway with former Cup Series driver David Ragan as the test driver. It features three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors, and a 78-kWh liquid-cooled battery. The powertrain is capable of producing up to 1,000 kilowatts, which is equivalent to approximately 1,300 horsepower. (For reference, the Cup Series currently runs a 670 hp engine).

The car also features regenerative braking, which converts the energy from the brakes back into power, which NASCAR says makes the car “ideal for road courses and short track ovals.”

In addition to the car, NASCAR also announced a partnership with ABB, an electrification and automation company that has joined as the sport’s first partner in its sustainability effort, NASCAR Impact.

Obviously the announcement of an electric vehicle had some fans worried (or up in arms) that the sport was moving towards the use of EVs in one their current traveling series, like the Cup Series or Xfinity Series, or in a new all-electric series.

But according to Kevin Harvick, he doesn’t see it happening.

Harvick addressed the new EV on his weekly podcast, Kevin Harvick’s Happy Hour, and he doesn’t see a future for electric vehicles in NASCAR:

“There’s really nothing about a racecar that doesn’t make noise that has any excitement for me…

I can tell you this, there is no future for NASCAR electric vehicle racing. If it does not make noise and smell like it’s burning gas, there is no freaking way.”

Harvick says that he believes even NASCAR and the manufacturers have lost interest in creating – or replacing – a series for the electric vehicle, and that now NASCAR simply has the prototype to use for demonstrations or as a symbol of their commitment to their environmental goals:

“I appreciate the effort and I get it. There are other things from the other side of the world. But anybody who thinks this would be a success as far as how they race…

It won’t go far on the ovals, first off. On the road course it’s probably doable, but I bought an EV. I bought one of those Ford Lightnings and I’m like, ‘Ah, I just want to see what it’s all about.’ It’s fun to drive, but it won’t go far. I’m not taking it on a trip.

So there’s no way. I wouldn’t spend much more money on it.”

Although he doesn’t see the sport ever going all electric, he does see a role for hybrid vehicles in the future – but that’s about it.

@harvickhappypod “There is no future for #NASCAR ♬ original sound – Kevin Harvick’s Happy Hour

And it doesn’t sound like NASCAR has any plans to use the EV for a racing series just yet. In announcing the car, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer John Probst said it’s more about exploring for the future:

“I’m not sitting here saying we’re going to announce a series. As much as anything, it’s about us exploring what our future could be…

As we learn, we’ll be in the driver’s seat wherever our future takes us.”

NASCAR has set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035, but in addition to electrification, Probst says the series is also exploring more eco-friendly advancements to combustion engines such as hydrogen or other sustainable fuel sources:

“There’s a long, long road ahead for the combustion engine, be it powered from sustainable fuel, or hydrogen, for that matter — that’s something else that we’re very interested in.”

As far as the electric vehicle, it would obviously change the experience for fans quite a bit: Imagine going to a NASCAR race and not being able to hear the cars on the track. Or smell the racing fuel burning as the cars pass. Just wouldn’t be the same (or as exciting, in my opinion).

Luckily, it doesn’t sound like anybody really thinks that’s going to happen.


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