NASCAR Hybrids May Debut in 2022

One of several technological upgrades coming to the racing series

In the near future, NASCAR may feature hybrid vehicles in its races.
Nascarking/Creative Commons

Fans of open-wheel racing with an interest in ecologically-minded racing have had Formula E to take in for the last few years. Soon, the same might be true for stock car racing, as NASCAR has announced an ambitious plan to debut hybrid vehicles — possibly by 2022.

TechCrunch has the details, which stem from comments made by John Probst, the SVP for Racing Development for NASCAR. At Charlotte Motor Speedway, Probst told TechCrunch that, “We travel the world visiting other sanctioning bodies and are not ignorant to the fact that the world’s going towards more hybrid technology.”

When might this happen? Another source who spoke with TechCrunch told them that “hybrid tech could certainly be in our cars by 2022, if all plans stay on track.”

The potential addition of hybrids to the NASCAR circuit is one of several steps the racing organization is taking in terms of technological improvements and ecological friendliness. 2021 will see the debut of the Next-Gen car, which rule changes implemented in 2019 were designed to bolster. 

The news of hybrids also confirms the speculation of some in the automobile industry. In June of this year, Mark Rushbrook of Ford Performance expressed his certainty that hybrid technology would come to NASCAR. At the time, Autosport reported on his comments as well as those made by NASCAR’s Probst, which anticipate his more recent remarks.

In June, Rushbrook also opined that hybrid technology might not be suited to every race. “It doesn’t need to be at every track,” he said. “If you put a hybrid in for the Daytona 500, where you’re wide open throughout the whole lap, it doesn’t make sense.”

2022 isn’t too far off now. Only time will tell how it affects the sports — and how NASCAR viewers take to the new technology.

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