Red Bull Global Rallycross is adding an all-electric class of racing starting in 2018, the series announced today. The EV class will run alongside the two main classes during each of the series’ race weekends.
“The electric car is one of the hottest topics in the automotive industry, and manufacturers across the globe have recognized its immense potential,” series CEO Colin Dyne said in a statement. “We want to embrace this technology by welcoming it into our series as we continue to grow and expand.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross pits modified versions of production cars against each other on temporary tracks that have both asphalt and dirt sections. The races are run in the US and around the world in stadiums, at race tracks, and even at military bases.
The series hasn’t yet announced any drivers or manufacturers for the new EV class. Ford, VW, Chevrolet, Subaru, and Honda all compete in the two classes that already exist. If you want an idea at what an electric rallycross car could look like, though, former rally champion Manfred Stohl recently converted a Peugot into a 550-horsepower beast of an EV:
The United States Auto Club (USAC), one of the oldest and most prominent sanctioning bodies in American auto racing, will govern the new EV class in conjunction with Red Bull Global Rallycross. It will be the first electric racing competition sanctioned by USAC.
That said, Red Bull’s new EV class will be far from the first overall. The FIA, which is the biggest motorsport governing body in the world, started the all-electric Formula E series in 2014. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), another one of the United States’ most well-known sanctioning bodies, has held EV drag races and recently added guidelines for electric vehicles to its official rulebook. Electric motorcycles have competed around the world for a few years now, and EVs have even started beating out gasoline-powered cars at the annual Pikes Peak hill climb.