NASCAR: Team Penske Uses Electric Freightliner Semi to Tow Austin Cindric’s Racecar Hauler

by Matthew Memrick

NASCAR is going electric with Team Penske’s Freightliner Semi bringing rookie Austin Cindric’s race car to the track Sunday.

Cindric’s team will be the first in NASCAR to use the all-electric truck for its No. 2 car delivery. 

In a test run, team officials loaded the car into Freightliner’s eCascadia tractor-trailer at Penske Truck Leasing in Ontario, Calif. On Sunday, it will go 50 miles to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

The truck and Cindric’s car for Sunday’s Busch Light Clash have matching blue schemes highlighting the eCascadia. 

All-Electric Tractor-Trailer Can Go 250 Miles On A Charge

Admit it. You didn’t think you’d see this day where tractor-trailers would be electric. But Freightliner is making it happen.

According to The Associated Press, their eCascadia trucks can go about 250 miles on a fully-charged battery. The Cindric’s car trailer got its charge in Ontario and will be able to make an I-10 round trip without having to stop at a charging station. The facility has 150-kilowatt charging stations that can power the truck to 80 percent in just 90 minutes.  

Penske Truck Leasing president Art Vallely said his company wants to lead the industry in commercial electric vehicles while providing more workable truck options to customers.

As the company updates and tests these vehicles, Valley said they’ve “been impressed with the performance of these Freightliner vehicles.”

Penske knows these trucks will need heavy-duty charging stations, so they’re working to make more stations available in Southern California. So far, there are 20 stations at seven locations in the area.

Penske saw the opportunity to make history and show off their electric trucks outside the six-hour Busch Light Clash exhibition spectacularly. They reported that swapping diesel for the eCascadia will save about 17 gallons of gas. The race team said that the same trip over five days a week would save 83 gallons of diesel weekly and 4,333 per year.

Companies are looking to save money, and with the crazy California gas prices (about $4.99 per gallon currently), the company estimates annual fuel savings to be about $21,623 on one truck.

Electric Truck Will Cut Pollution

Team Penske also mentioned two other added benefits to electric trucks: Less noise and air pollution. Don’t forget the need to fight climate change.

The company started looking into electric fleets in 2018 and got an electric box truck that same year. Its first eCascadia came into the fold in September of 2019.

The company currently leases ten eCascadias and ten eM2 box trucks in Southern California.

But, But NASCAR and Gas Go Together Like…

I get it. You like the smell of gasoline at the track. Or you want to Coal Roll on the way home from school. But give those in NASCAR a chance to mix it up a little.

Now, if you’ve been waiting to ask how much gas a NASCAR uses during a race, here you go. NASCAR says a Sunday car uses about 90 to 100 gallons of gas in a race. For Saturday, it’s about 65 to 70 gas gallons.

Don’t ask how much fuel a NASCAR car uses while driving around the track. It’s probably a whole lot less than all the spectators that take cars to the races weekly.

NASCAR’s trying, so maybe you should give them the benefit of the doubt.