22 FALL 2016
icture the scene. It’s fall 2018 and a
grid of 20-plus cars, comprised entirely of
manufacturer entries, is assembled against
the towering backdrop of the Hong Kong
skyline. Season five of the FIA Formula E
Championship is about to begin.
Not bad, is it? What may seem like a big
step from Formula E’s present is tantalizingly
close in reality. The manufacturers are
coming, and the electric revolution is real.
As its third season gets underway,
Formula E is far ahead of its own
expectations. It didn’t envisage galvanizing
this level of manufacturer support so early
in the process. In addition to the factory
Renault, Jaguar and DS (Citroen’s luxury
brand) operations, Audi has “intensified”
its backing of ABT Schaeffler, and Andretti
has struck an engineering deal with BMW.
Then there’s a quartet of growing
electric-vehicle manufacturers in Venturi,
with existing powerhouse Renault, with
which it has an automotive alliance. Other
prospective entrants include Volvo, which
is keeping tabs on the series through its
motorsport arm Polestar, and Porsche,
reportedly one of the parties that was
keen to supply the series’ spec battery
from 2018 (see sidebar, RIGHT).
The answer to the question, “What’s
the Indian-based conglomerate behind
the e2o electric city car. Only Techeetah,
a Renault customer entry, remains as a
true independent on the current
10-team, 20-car grid.
And that’s only going to grow. Formula 1’s
dominant manufacturer, Mercedes, has
secured an entry for the 2018/’ 19 season
as it contemplates joining an expanded field.
Audi’s ramp-up of support for ABT is the
precursor to a full factory program for the
2017/’ 18 campaign, the company
describing it as a “technological spearhead”
for an increasingly electric road car future
following its WEC pullout (see page 16).
German rival BMW’s Andretti partnership
was struck with one eye very much on a
full factory entry in time for 2018.
Nissan’s “fact finding” mission into a
Formula E entry, as it has called it, could
waits in the wings...
Mercedes has signed
an agreement that
gives F1’s dominant
option to join
Formula E for season
five, in 2018/’ 19.
High-profile, city-based race
venues help get the Formula
E message out. Paris (MAIN)
was a valuable addition to
the schedule in the 2015/’ 16
season, and New York joins
for the current campaign.