Bill Nye, the science educator, television presenter, writer and mechanical engineer, who is best-known as “The Science Guy”, has published an amazing statement explaining why the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) should become the National Electric Stock Car Racing (NESCAR).
He explained that car races should be about the future, and not about the past, since the world must become greener or humans will face the consequences of global warming.
He started saying that NASCAR is celebrating a very old transportation technology of yesterday. He is not wrong, the “high-tech” cars that are used in the competition are powered by gasoline instead of electrons. Impressively, NASCAR cars which function with carburetors, and cast-iron engines, consume about 21 gasoline gallons for every 62 miles.
“We could convert all of our racecars to electricity – the drivers could probably hear the roar of the crowd rather than having to imagine it as they do now. And most significant from my point of view, everyone in the crowd, every race fan, would want an electric car! The market for electric cars would go crazy. Manufacturers could not produce them fast enough. We could convert our transportation system to all-electric,” said The Science Guy on Monday in a blog post on AEON.
Fans of car races would argue that an electric car cannot reach the same potency as a gasoline-car. Mr. Nye provided a great example, saying that a typical NASCAR race car can produce 850 horsepower (hp), which is impressive. However, a Tesla Model S is not that far from reaching the same power, since it can get up to 532 hp. That being said, the latter was specifically designed to be a consumer car, not a race car.
The Science Guy proposed a visionary idea, if car makers start developing new race cars that are powered by electricity, the segment would get an impulse and many companies would be competing for the latest advances. Nye said that instead of refueling gas tanks, cars teams would change electric charged batteries.
Mr. Nye continued to add more good arguments, he said that the James Bond car, the Aston Martin DB10 can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, on the other hand an electric car such as the Tesla Model S can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds.
Last year Porsche presented Mission E, a deluxe electric car that will be on the American roads by 2020. The new vehicle that is being designed by the German car maker, will go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds and it will be 100 percent electrically-powered, as the Tesla models.
“I’m not saying we should all be driving turbine engine-powered cars. I’m saying racing should be about the future rather than the past. How about NASCAR becoming NESCAR (National Electric Stock Car Racing)? The sooner NASCAR embraces electric drive trains, the sooner the US can be the world leader in automotive technology, and the sooner we can stop pumping carbon dioxide into the air every time we want to go somewhere,” concluded Bill Nye enthusiastically, on Monday.
Formula E and the ROBORACE
Formula E and Kinetik announced last year a partnership in order to launch a new global race series which will be conformed by driverless electric electric cars conducted by algorithms.
ROBORACE is now supposed to be part of the support package of the FIA Formula E Championship. As the official Formula E site says, the championship could take place during the 2016-2017 season. Every formula E race will be preceded by a self-driving cars competition which will perform in the same circuits in major cities around the world.
Ten teams, each of them with electric-driverless cars, will protagonize the race, which is going to last one hour for each session. Founder of Kinetik and Roborace, Denis Sverdlov, said the mission of the competition was to show that the future of automotive and information technology is already surrounding us and can even work in harsh conditions.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E said on December that ROBORACE is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world.
It seems that the ideas proposed by Mr. Nye are not that far from being real, however it would be extremely interesting if car race producers propose a new competition composed by human drivers and completely electric cars. People would surely enjoy it, since it would not contribute with contamination gases that are warming Earth temperatures.