BMW Joins Formula E as Official Manufacturer
The automaker will use Formula E as a testing ground for future electric tech.
BMW's hand in Formula E has been a steady one, and now, the manufacturer has decided to go all in for 2018-2019. The Bavarian automaker will supply Andretti Autosport with powertrains for the series' fifth season, and by testing these new technologies in motorsport, it will take its findings and apply them to road car research in the future.
After introducing the "i" sub-brand in 2014, BMW has been consistently working on improving its efforts in electric propulsion. That is, in fact, the major reason for the company's efforts in Formula E today. "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," said BMW board member Klaus Fröhlich, according to Autoblog.
BMW's partner, Andretti Autosport, is just as excited about the growing relationship. Team head Michael Andretti is quoted saying "We look forward to running BMW's first all-electric racing drivetrain and competing for the Formula E championship. BMW is leading the automotive future with the BMW i line and their innovation in electric-car technology."
The automaker will now join both Jaguar and Audi Sport who have recently made substantial steps towards Formula E competition. Audi took majority reigns from Abt Schaeffler, a team which is currently second in standings for the 2017 season.
Mercedes Benz may also be hopping aboard for next season as they signed an option agreement to join the series in 2018. This would give Formula E a major boost in manufacturer support, and if it could gain a few other notable names, it could very well be the technological playground it promised us to be.