In the world of 800 horsepower gas-guzzling race cars, one wouldn’t expect to see too many hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles. But NASCAR has made great strides to embrace alternative drivetrains and fuels in recent years, and one of their chief executives has even gone so far as to buy a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid for himself.
Brent Dewar is the Chief Operating Officer of Daytona Beach-based NASCAR, and he told the Wall Street Journal how he came to fall in love with his plug-in Ford. While attending the last race of the season last year, he saw one of the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids on display. The more he learned about the car, the more he fell in love with it, eventually plunking down about $40,000 to get a fully-loaded Fusion Titanium.
I’ve been around performance cars all my life,’ Dewar told the WSJ. “But for the last 20 years, I’ve also become intrigued with alternative propulsion systems—ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells, electric hybrids. Not only do they offer solutions to global energy challenges, they can be incredibly fun to drive.”
Obviously he loves the instant torque of the electric motor, but the ability to drive up to 21 miles on electricity is also a huge boon. He’s been a driving force behind getting Eaton EV charging stations installed in NASCAR race track parking lots, though he’s hardly the only alt-fuel enthusiast in the NASCAR world. Lelani Munter recently drove her Tesla Model S to a NASCAR race, and the Pocono Speedway recently reached a milestone in solar power generation.
Could we eventually see hybrids racing on NASCAR’s most hallowed tracks? It might take awhile…but I think we’ll get there.
Image: Christopher McEniry for the Wall Street Journal