Could rallycross be sustainable? Historically, car competitions have been testing grounds for up-and-coming car technology such as brake systems, new materials for tires, and traction control systems. Soon, rallycross may be a testing ground for a new kind of innovation: electric race cars. This gives the motorsport the chance to still be a unique, exciting experience at the forefront of innovation, while simultaneously reducing pollution and fossil fuels.
Why Is Rallycross Best for Electric?
Electric cars can handle the launch at the starting line. For example, in one major rallycross event called World RX, races start in the first corner with a five-speed sprint. These races are on twisty tracks, which require high strength and swift torque all along the course. Maximizing those features is crucial for being able to overtake the twisty tracks, and it just happens that these are features electric cars tend to excel at. Electric cars can also change or recharge their batteries between the four qualifying laps in the weekend format with a subsequent six-lap semi-final and final race.
Rallycross Challenges for Electric Cars
There remain some challenges with electric cars. For example:
- Rallycross cars need to contend with an ever-changing track surface, usually made of gravel or dust.
- The cost for the development of an electric car is high.
- Development takes batteries, engines, inverters, extra plumbing, safety features and better and more efficient circuitry.
In addition, many rallycross fans love the noisy, turbocharged theatrics, which may not be as frequent when drivers are using electric cars.
Electric Cars are Streets Ahead
In rallycross, Projekt E aims to see how electric cars manage in a World RX environment and further move motorsports toward electrification. Regular electric vehicles have also made progress: the median range went from 73 miles in the 2011 model year to 125 in 2018, while fast-charge systems can now provide up to 80 miles in 20 minutes, which would have taken hours to reach with more traditional chargers.
Sustainability and technology push towards electrical mobility. Because electricity is 100% renewable, clean and much less costly with safety systems equal to those of the top rankings, it is likely that the gasoline scent on the circuits could be replaced by the smell of success.
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