When one thinks of electric car manufacturers, Nissan and BMW are normally at the top of the list with their respective Nissan LEAF and i Series vehicles. According to racing news site AutoSport, the two manufacturers are in talks to join the Formula E racing series with their own race cars soon.
For readers who don’t know, Formula E is a racing series that uses one-seat electric cars that race in big cities around the world to raise awareness for EV performance. Since many people assume that EVs are slow and boring cars, the racing series hopes that seeing electric race cars will help shake that prejudice. Formula E also has the backing of several high-profile members of society, including Oscar winner (we love mentioning that as often as possible) Leonardo DiCaprio, who chairs the Formula E Sustainability Committee.
BMW is actually already involved in Formula E, providing BMW i8 safety (or pace) cars and BMW i3 medical response vehicles. According to AutoSport, Nissan and BMW were hesitant to provide racing vehicles in the series because of a requirement that teams switch cars mid-race. That reservation makes sense, considering that both brands work hard to tell customers that their EVs can drive for many miles on a single charge. Having racers change cars seems to reinforce the stereotype that an electric car can’t get very far on one charge.
Recently, Formula E has announced significant route changes that would mean that the teams would only need one car per race, which could help convince Nissan and BMW to join in on the fun. While the 2016/2017 racing season is coming up too soon for either brand to engineer an appropriate race car, it’s possible that they could be persuaded to join the grid as early as the 2017/2018 season. The two automakers would join Jaguar and Renault, making nine of the 10 entries to the races would be from established customer manufacturers.
We’ll keep you updated if either brand decides to take the plunge.
News Source: AutoSport