The Hybrid C8 Corvette E-Ray Banned from Corvette Club Competition
The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is a revolution in Corvette performance. By blending heritage with new-age tech, the E-Ray promises to keep the Corvette mystique alive for a new generation of drivers. However, the National Council of Corvette Clubs has banned the hybrid Corvette from competition.
The competition ban prevents Corvette E-Ray from on-track action
For those hoping to see how their new hybrid Corvette E-Ray stacks up against other Corvette copmeition, your dreams are dashed. The NCCC has recently updated its rulebook to say, “Electric vehicles/Hybrids using lithium type battery packs are prohibited in competitive events.” That’s a blanket ban on all battery-powered Corvette models, whether they come from the factory that way or not.
This ban would extend to EV-swapped classics as well as the new Hybrid E-Ray models. It also goes to show the growing divide between those who believe EVs have a place in modern sports cars and ardent traditionalists.
Hybrid Corvette models banned from parking near other cars at shows
In addition to the competition ban, the NCCC rule book also extends its hybrid restrictions to the show car lot. Once again, the rule states, “If driven to NCCC events, [battery-powered cars] should be parked 30 feet minimum from structures or other vehicles.” It seems that the hybrid Corvette ban isn’t about a difference in philosophy, but rather safety.
The NCCC isn’t alone in banning electrified vehicles
Unfortunately, the NCCC isn’t the first organization to put the kibosh on battery-electric vehicles. Summit Point Motorsports park in West Virginia has a similar rule on the books going forward.
In speaking with Hemmings, Summit Point Director of Motorsports Operations Edwin Pardue stated, “…halting the use of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in all motorsports disciplines at our location is purely based on ensuring we establish an EMS response policy and procedure based on technical knowledge provided by the electric and hybrid electric vehicle industry community to better support the motorsports community.”
In other words, the hybrid Corvette ban has nothing to do with gas-powered car owners worrying about EV performance. Instead, these organizations are concerned about the safety of volatile lithium-ion batteries in a track setting.
Are lithium-ion battery safety concerns legitimate?
None other than the National Transportation Safety Board has indicated the risks of lithium-ion batteries both under normal driving conditions and in the event of an accident. As entities that organize racing events, both the NCCC and Summit Motorsports Park already have a lot of liability on their shoulders. Rather than heightening risks with battery fires that are notoriously difficult to extinguish, the organizers have decided to ban the technology entirely for the time being.
How long will the hybrid Corvette ban last?
Currently, there is no timetable for ending the ban on hybrid Corvette models at Corvette Club events. However, as facilities improve their ability to deal with battery fires, it is likely that these bans will begin to fall away. For this season though, anyone with a Hybrid Corvette E-Ray will have to find a new place to test their vehicle’s performance.