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QOTD: Should Hybrids And EVs Be Allowed On Track Days?

National Council of Corvette Clubs has banned C8 E-Rays hybrid from track and requires them to park 30 ft from buildings and other vehicles over fire worries

by Chris Chilton

April 24, 2023 at 18:44

 QOTD: Should Hybrids And EVs Be Allowed On Track Days?

by Chris Chilton

Though most Corvette fans are seriously intrigued by the new C8 E-Ray, you can imagine a few traditionalists who are still coming to terms with the current car’s mid-engined layout maybe being suspicious about the E-Ray’s hybrid drivetrain and all-wheel drive.

But that’s got nothing to do with the National Council of Corvette Clubs’ decision to ban the E-Ray from all of its track events. That’s right, the fastest accelerating Corvette of all time, and the second most powerful Corvette after the new Z06 screamer, is not allowed on NCCC circuit events. And it gets worse. The E-Ray isn’t even that welcome in the parking lot at track events and must park 30 ft (9 m) away from structures and other cars.

CorvetteForum first picked up the story, explaining that the E-Ray has been given the cold shoulder because it falls foul of a rule in the NCCC competition rulebook that states “Electric Vehicles/Hybrids using lithium type battery packs are prohibited in Competitive events. If driven to NCCC events, they should be parked 30 feet minimum from structures or other vehicles.”

Related: 2024 Corvette E-Ray AWD Hybrid Is The Quickest ‘Vette Ever, Hits 60 In 2.5 Seconds

It just so happens that the E-Ray is the first Corvette to get a lithium battery, though it certainly won’t be the last. A fully electric C8 is in the works and you can bet that the Corvette SUV due a few years now will be offered with hybrid power.

There’s no suggestion that the E-Ray itself is inherently unsafe. But many different kinds of vehicles fitted with lithium batteries, including the Corvette’s own cousin, the Chevy Bolt EV, have had problems with fires. There’s also a worry that a racetrack environment presents a greater risk because an impact could damage the battery pack and cause a fire.

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CorvetteForum points out that the NCCC isn’t alone in banning electric and hybrid vehicles from its track activities. Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia has also moved to exclude cars with lithium power packs from its circuit.

But what do you think? Are Summit Point and the NCCC being overly cautious about banning hybrids like the E-Ray, or should more clubs and tracks be taking the fire risk more seriously? And lastly, would you be put off buying an E-Ray by the knowledge that you might be excluded from track activities? Leave a comment and let us know.

 QOTD: Should Hybrids And EVs Be Allowed On Track Days?

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