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Formula E chief hails rise in manufacturer partners

Alejandro Agag, founder and chief executive of Formula E, has said the electric car-racing series has far surpassed its expectations by securing nine manufacturers for the 2018-19 season, having initially set a target of three competing companies by its fifth campaign.

ABT Formel E, BMW, DS Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Mahindra Racing, NextEV NIO, Penske Autosport, Renault and Venturi Automobiles have signed three-year deals to race in Formula E from 2018-19 until 2020-21.

The round of homologations mean that each of the manufacturers’ powertrains is in line with the latest regulations regarding chassis and battery technology, which will remain standard throughout the three-season cycle.

From the 2018-19 season, Formula E teams will race in a new-look car, which has been designed in partnership with the International Automobile Federation (FIA). In addition, the series will feature a new standard battery that eliminates the requirement for two cars per driver and mid-race car changes.

Other manufacturers that wish to enter will be able to do so from the 2019-20 season for a two-year period, or for a single campaign in 2020-21.

“The mission of the FIA Formula E Championship is to act as a platform to advance the development of electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions – this hinges on the participation of automotive and component manufacturers,” Agag said.

“When we launched the series in 2012, we had forecast to secure at least three manufacturers by season five. The news today (Tuesday) has highlighted the number and quality of manufacturers joining the championship and tripling our initial expectations. This just goes to show the relevance of Formula E to the motor industry and as an attractive proposition to new audiences and commercial partners, such as the recent agreement with Allianz.”

FIA president Jean Todt added: “The homologation of the powertrains that will be used from season five is a very significant step because it means the cars will be able to run for twice as long while, at the very least, maintaining the same performance level.

“This highlights how motorsport can stimulate and accelerate development of new technologies, which can then be applied to road cars and in this case it has even more of a key role, given that at the moment, electricity is one of the more practical alternatives when it comes to finding new forms of more sustainable mobility in the future.”