BMW confirms entry in all-electric Formula E race series
German car giant will supply drivetrain for Andretti team from 2018/19
BMW has announced that it is joining the all-electric Formula E championship next season.
The single-seater racing series is becoming increasingly popular as major manufacturers use the sport to accelerate development of electric vehicle technology.
The German car manufacturer is the latest big name to join Formula E, following in the footsteps of others such as Renault, Audi and Jaguar.
Some manufacturers compete as a full, factory-backed outfit, while others have technical partnerships with race teams. However, BMW is entering as an official entry providing the drivetrain for the Andretti team.
BMW is launching a new i Motorsport brand in conjunction with the project, which it says will be focused on the development of “innovative technology in the field of electromobility”. The name ties in with the carmaker’s ‘i’ brand of electrified road-going models, including the i3 and i8.
The same engineers that are working on the street cars will be working alongside their racing counterparts in an attempt to seamlessly integrate motorsport learning into the company’s next generation of ‘i’ cars.
Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of management at BMW, said: “Through our involvement in Formula E, we are addressing the development towards sustainable and emission-free mobility in the automobile industry and are also making a contribution to the brand’s progression to BMW iNEXT.
“The borders between production and motor racing development are more blurred at BMW i Motorsport than in any other project. The result is a technology transfer on a whole new level.
“We are certainly confident that the BMW Group will benefit greatly from the experience gained in the field of electrotechnology during this project.”
BMW made the announcement at the New York ePrix event last weekend, which saw Brit Sam Bird take the win in both races for the DS Virgin Racing team.
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