As early as 2022, NASCAR could introduce hybrid race cars powered by both gas and electricity.
According to TechCrunch, NASCAR will wait until after its updated Next-Gen gas race car guidelines are released in 2021, and then begin gradually introducing hybrid vehicles.
NASCAR’s eventual plans are to fully incorporate hybrid technology into all of their vehicles.
The hybrids would initially be used on shorter courses with more turns and braking, but could potentially be adapted to perform well on longer tracks in the future, said John Probst, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing development, in an interview with TechCrunch.
Initially, the hybrid vehicles are expected to be most suitable for tracks less than 1.5 miles in length, but the technology could potentially be used for longer tracks after further development, Probst said.
NASCAR plans to do further research on the possibilities of hybrid technology and how it can be used to improve the performance of racing vehicles.
This research includes looking into hybrid technology as a means of extending the range of NASCAR’s race cars as well as the potential of using hybrid technology to create a turbo effect on the vehicles.
NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski told TechCrunch that he believes hybrid technology will increase performance potential and boost NASCAR’s marketplace relevance.
“Nobody will develop this technology harder or faster in motorsports than we will,” he said.