TV personality Bill Nye has accused NASCAR of “celebrating a very old” and outdated transportation technology, urging the racing outfit to switch to all-electric cars in order to slow the effects of climate change.
“[H]ere I am trying to envision the smart, efficient transportation technology of tomorrow, and there is NASCAR doing the opposite – celebrating a very old transportation technology of yesterday,” Mr. Nye, an engineer famously known as “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” wrote in an op-ed this week for Aeon Magazine.
“I wish NASCAR were more like NASA. I wish NASCAR were more about the future instead of the past,” he wrote. “I wish NASCAR set up Grand Challenges to inspire companies and individuals to create novel automotive technologies in the way NASA does to create novel space technologies.”
Mr. Nye said an electric race car could completely outperform a gas-powered competitor. Pit crews would replace batteries instead of refueling gas tanks.
“Just think what an electric race would be like. It would be faster, and quiet. You could talk to the person next to you,” he wrote.
Mr. Nye suggested the company change its name from NASCAR to NESCAR — National Electric Stock Car Racing.
“The sooner NASCAR (or NESCAR) 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 to get groceries, pick up the soccer team, commute to work or watch a race,” Mr. Nye concluded.
In 2011, NASCAR switched to E15 “green” fuel and boasts that it has the largest green program in sports.