EVs are taking on combustion engines in a rallycross ‘Battle of Technologies’

2024-07-08 10:54


Several rally cars racing on a track, with the lede car mid-drift.
Image: FIA World Rallycross Championship

After two seasons of all-electric racing, the World Rallycross Championship (or World RX) held its first mixed powertrain races between electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) cars this weekend in Höljes, Sweden. Unlike traditional point-to-point rally racing, rallycross puts those cars on a circuit, but with similar racing over dirt and gravel surfaces, as well as plenty of jumping and drifting through turns.

There were six EVs and four ICE cars in this weekend’s races, and by the end of the first weekend, EV racers took up three of the top five spots in the provisional championship standings. However, Johan Kristoffersson, who won the last two series titles in electric cars, put his internal combustion-powered Volkswagen Polo KMS 601 RX in first after winning both days.

World RX has been a strictly electric series since 2022. But after two seasons of low driver signups and an apparent battery fire that claimed two cars before a race last year, the FIA announced it was admitting “sustainably-fuelled” ICE cars for a “Battle of Technologies,” along with changes to the format, like having drivers race for points instead of time.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2024/7/8/24193814/world-rx-ev-vs-ice-rallycross-racing