Motorsport News

Would an Electric Vehicle Event Help NASCAR Grow?

2023 Cup Phoenix I William Byron checkered flag (Credit: NKP)

NASCAR is considering an electric vehicle exhibition event as soon as 2024. Would an event help the sport grow?

Stephen Stumpf: It’s a double-edged sword. The manufacturers would likely enjoy an electric exhibition because they are making the first steps toward an electric car future. Such an event may also draw new fans that otherwise wouldn’t have watched.

But at the same time, would NASCAR’s current viewers like it? It would certainly draw mixed reviews when considering that the roar of the engines is a big part of the draw, especially for people that attend in person. But to do an electric race as an exhibition? I feel that it’s certainly worth a try.

Mark Kristl: I’d support the notion of a hybrid racecar, especially if it becomes more cost-effective and energy-efficient. As far as a full-on electric vehicle event, though, NASCAR fans like to hear the roar of the engine. So it might be a nice conversation topic, but any new fans of that event wouldn’t likely tune in to watch current NASCAR races.

Andrew Stoddard: This is the right move for the sport in the long term. While there will always be a place for internal combustion engines in NASCAR’s top series, an electric car series similar to that of Formula E will help bring a new set of eyes to the sport. It will also be a good PR move for NASCAR with the increased environmental awareness in the general population.

Joy Tomlinson: It wouldn’t help it grow but it would help NASCAR to explore the environmental-friendly forms of racing. With California set to sell zero-emissions/electric vehicles only by 2035, it might help NASCAR get a leg up on what’s to come in the future, especially if it wants to continue racing in California. Obviously, there’s still a long way to go for an electric NASCAR race, but it’s a start.

Wyatt Watson: NASCAR doing an electric vehicle exhibition would certainly grow the sport; however, in the wrong direction. Fans from across the country go to the track to see loud, high-powered machines rev around for hundreds of laps. Taking away the thrill of those engines would be appalling. The roar of the engines is an aesthetic that should most certainly not be changed in NASCAR.

Mike Neff: Eh, maybe. The world is moving to EVs and the sport will eventually have to adopt them. A hybrid vehicle is not far off, but a full EV is going to be tough. The sights and sounds are a big part of racing. EVs don’t make noise. It will be a…

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