ABB and NASCAR reveal EV prototype

9th July 2024
Paige West

ABB in the United States and NASCAR have joined forces to advance the future of electric vehicles (EVs) and sustainability in motorsports through the newly announced ABB NASCAR Electrification Innovation Partnership.

Unveiled at the 2024 NASCAR Chicago Street Race, this partnership marks a significant step in NASCAR’s strategic shift towards electrification, highlighted by the introduction of an EV prototype.

“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.”

As part of this collaboration, ABB will support NASCAR in meeting its public sustainability goals, particularly in the areas of electrification and EV charging infrastructure. This move aligns with NASCAR’s broader commitment to reduce its carbon footprint to zero across its core operations by 2035. Despite its historical ties to combustion engines, NASCAR is actively working towards decarbonising its operations through innovative electrification solutions.

“There could not be a more optimal moment in time to announce our first IMPACT partner than in tandem with the debut of our prototype electric vehicle 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.”

The ABB NASCAR EV prototype

The centrepiece of this partnership is the ABB NASCAR EV Prototype, a testament to the forward-thinking approach of the NASCAR Research and Development Centre team. This prototype represents the latest innovation following the transformative redesign of the NASCAR Cup Series car, known as the Next Gen car, which debuted in 2022. The Next Gen car reintroduced the concept of ‘stock’ in stock car racing, modernising the vehicle’s components to closely resemble production cars.

Developed in collaboration with Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota, the EV prototype showcases advanced engineering by the same NASCAR team responsible for the Next Gen car and the Garage 56 entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The track-tested, electrified stock car features three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors (one front, two rear) delivering power to all four specially designed Goodyear Racing Eagle tires. The vehicle is powered by a 7kWh liquid-cooled battery and a tuneable powertrain capable of producing 1,000kW at peak power. Regenerative braking technology enhances its efficiency, making it ideal for road courses and short oval tracks.

Innovative design and sustainability features

The All-Wheel Drive EV prototype boasts a generic Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) body constructed from sustainable flax-based composite materials. Sharing many similarities with the Next Gen and Garage 56 cars, the prototype’s body sits on a modified Next Gen chassis, with steering, suspension, brakes, and wheels derived from the NASCAR Cup Series car. This blend of innovation and sustainability underscores NASCAR's commitment to evolving with the times while maintaining its racing heritage.

ABB's partnership extends to NASCAR IMPACT, an initiative dedicated to promoting sustainability, community engagement, and social responsibility. Central to this platform is NASCAR’s plan to achieve zero carbon emissions in its core operations by 2035. Transitioning from scope 1 (fuel burned) to scope 2 (electric) operations is a pivotal element of this strategy.

NASCAR has set ambitious near-term sustainability goals informed by annual carbon measurements. These include sourcing 100% renewable electricity at all owned racetracks and facilities by 2028, expanding waste diversion efforts, and installing on-site EV charging stations. ABB will provide essential support, equipment, and expertise to help NASCAR achieve these objectives, reinforcing its role as a leader in clean mobility.

This partnership with NASCAR complements ABB’s ongoing commitment to advancing sustainable transportation. Globally, ABB has been the title partner of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship since 2018, supporting the development of innovative technologies in the all-electric, single-seater race series. This collaboration serves as a testing ground for energy transition solutions, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future.

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