EVs Not Welcome at Texas Track
Electric vehicles have come a long way since they stepped into the spotlight in the early 2000s with battery ranges fit only for city driving and sluggish performance. Since then, they have gained the battery capacity for road trips and enough power for a race car. That’s not enough for one race track in Texas, which has banned EVs for safety concerns.
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Digital Trends reports that the Texas Motor Speedway, home of NASCAR and IndyCar events throughout the year, declared electric vehicles banned from its weekly Friday Night Drags. The events are somewhat casual in that any car can compete, but you do need basic safety gear.
The decision comes as some electric vehicles are facing recalls and scrutiny for catching on fire. A representative went out of their way to say the ban was not because they wanted to protect traditional gasoline power cars from getting beat by electric competitors, Digital Trends said. Rather, they were concerned a minor malfunction could spark an electrical fire, which is harder to put out and requires unique tools.
If you own an electric car, you can rest easier knowing that they aren’t at higher risk of fires and accidents than traditional cars, according to Jalopnik. However, firefighters need additional training to put out an EV fire because they can’t resort to traditional extinguishers. The news site reports that an EV battery fire can need up to 3,000 gallons of water to kill it, and then even after the flames die the battery can easily re-ignite.
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Unfortunately, Texas EV fans have lost a place to live out their Formula E dreams. The Texas Motor Speedway might let them back, but only if they have the correct safety equipment in place. Considering that they would only be using it for Friday Night Drags, we don’t expect them to move very quickly.