Bill Nye thinks NASCAR switching to electric cars could be world-changing

January 29, 2016 0 By Amanda Giasson

The scientist and TV presenter has an interesting environmentally-friendly proposal for NASCAR.

Could NASCAR making the switch to electric cars change the world? Former mechanical engineer, famous comedic science educator and writer, Bill Nye, thinks so. In a recently published article in digital culture magazine Aeon, Nye, better known as “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” proposed that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) embrace electric cars and challenge auto manufacturers to develop innovative methods to address climate change.

Nye believes converting all NASCAR racecars to electrically-powered vehicles would boost the public’s interest in EVs.

In his article titled “If NASCAR embraced electric cars it could change the world,” the scientist expresses how the auto racing organization is a “celebration of old tech,” and how he wishes it were more like NASA in terms of thinking more about the future and not about the past. He wished it would focus on innovative technologies instead of old transportation technology that burns fossil fuels.

Nye says that in order to address climate change in the long term, the burning of fossil fuels needs to be stopped. This would require converting all forms of transportation (ex. cars, trucks, buses, trains, etc.) to an alternative source of power, such as electric motors with batteries to store energy.Electric Cars - Image of NASCAR Race

In the short term, the climate change activist argues that NASCAR could help with this transition. If all racecars were converted to electricity, the public would see, firsthand, what these vehicles could do.

“Just think what an electric race would be like,” Nye said. “It would be faster, and quiet. You could talk to the person next to you. The drivers could probably hear the roar of the crowd rather than having to imagine it as they do now.” Additionally, he pointed out that what would be most significant is that “everyone in the crowd, every race fan, would want an electric car!”

Although NASCAR has yet to announce plans to race electric cars, it has made other green efforts.

The NASCAR Green program is committed to using sustainable resources both in and off the track. For instance, it uses recycled fuel for its transport vehicles and has a clean air initiative that involves planting trees to offset carbon emissions produced by races. It also supports renewable energy measures including the use of solar power and, in Daytona, electric vehicles are used as shuttles.

Furthermore, back in September 2015, as part of its green efforts, NASCAR officially announced its membership to the Green Sports Alliance.

Still, in spite of green efforts, there’s no question that stock car auto races create a lot of carbon emissions. It would be interesting to see if Bill Nye’s wish for NASCAR electric cars comes to fruition in the future.

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