BMW And Nissan Plan To Enter Formula E
Both could get a piece of the action as early as 2016by Ciprian Florea, on
Nissan and BMW are reportedly preparing to join the all-electric Formula E series. According to Autosport, the two manufacturers are in talks with existing teams to join the series as early as next season, which is scheduled to commence on October 9, 2016, in Hong Kong.
Nissan, which axed its LMP1 program in 2015, would need approval from the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which also oversees the Renault e.Dams team. BMW, on the other hand, would have to change its position on the series’ dependence on mid-race car swaps, the main reason it ruled out a Formula E program in the past.
The only certainty right now is that if Nissan or BMW commit to entering Formula E in 2016, neither would be allowed to develop its own drivetrain, meaning a tie-up is their only realistic chance of joining for season three.
If it joins the series, Nissan will become the first Japanese manufacturer to do so. On the other hand, BMW will be the second German maker as the European country is already represented by ABT Audi Sport.
The current grid for the 2016/2017 season includes 10 teams from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Monaco, and China. The latest brand to join Formula E is Jaguar. Next season’s calendar includes 14 venues in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Both Montreal and New York will host two races. The season is scheduled to begin on October 9, 2016, and come to a close on July 30, 2017.
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Why it matters
Although it was viewed with skepticism at first, the Formula E championship has become increasingly popular since its launch in 2014, especially since the governing body allowed manufacturers to create their own drivetrain. Much like any other motorsport event, Formula E is now a playground for improving all-electric power units and all the technology that works in conjunction with such a system. Thus, more and more automakers are interested in joining the series, which would provide them with the opportunity of developing and testing motors that will eventually make it into road cars. This benefits both car makers and buyers, which is why it is very important that companies like BMW and Nissan join the series.