US manufacturer among new entries for 2016-17 Formula E season

The Formula E electric car-racing championship has secured its first major investment from a US manufacturer after Faraday Future today (Friday) announced a partnership with the Dragon Racing team.

The deal was confirmed after the International Automobile Federation (FIA) released the names of the 10 teams entered to take part in the third season of the Formula E championship, which gets underway in Hong Kong on October 9.

Faraday Future is a California-based mobility company focused on extreme technology. Under its long-term deal, Faraday will become the core technical partner and title sponsor of Dragon Racing. The new team name will be Faraday Future Dragon Racing.

At an executive level, Faraday’s global chief brand and commercial officer Marco Mattiacci, former team principal of Formula One team Ferrari, will oversee the company's involvement with Formula E and the partnership with Dragon Racing. Since Faraday Future debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, it had been pursuing an avenue to enter into Formula E, initially becoming title sponsor for the 2016 Long Beach ePrix.

“Formula E has placed a significant emphasis on electric performance and connectivity, which makes it a great fit for Faraday Future,” Mattiacci said. “Formula E has leveraged a community of fans and embodies the competitive spirit that we also share.”

Chinese internet company LeEco will also be involved in the partnership through its SEE Plan initiative, which is dedicated to building electric, smart and connected cars. Ding Lei, co-founder, vice-chairman and managing director of SEE Plan, said: “Faraday Future's strategic partner, LeEco, will also be involved in the sponsorship with Dragon Racing. LeEco has deep roots in sports and entertainment and plans to help its partners promote the platform.”

Eight of the 10 teams confirmed for the 2016-17 Formula E season have been involved right from the very start of this championship, even if some have undergone a name change since then.

Along with Faraday Future, the other new entries come courtesy of Jaguar, the British car company which in December chose Formula E to mark its return to motorsport after an absence of over 10 years, and the Chinese Techeetah team, that took over Team Aguri’s entry and is owned by China Media Capital, a public equity and venture capital firm based in Shanghai.