Renault is to exit Formula E at the end of Season 4, in July 2018. An inaugural partner in Formula E, Renault e.dams clinched its third consecutive Formula E Teams’ title this year.
Launched in 2014, the FIA Formula E championship is a global racing series where teams and manufacturers compete with all-electric powertrains on street circuits set up in major urban centers around the world.
“We had an incredible championship run during our first three years in Formula E and look forward to a competitive fourth season with the benefit of a very stable environment at Renault e.dams,” said Thierry Koskas, Groupe Renault EVP sales & marketing. “As a pioneer in EV, we have learned a tremendous amount about high-performance electric vehicles and energy management that directly benefits our EV customers. After Season 4 we will focus resources on our aggressive goals for Formula 1 and we look forward to continuing to gain benefits from motorsport racing across the Alliance with Nissan.”
The news of Renault’s exit comes as Nissan announced it will become the first Japanese automotive brand to compete in the championship from 2018.
The company says its move into the sport will it a highly visible global platform from which to spread the message of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – the company’s three-pillar strategy to redefine how its vehicles are driven, powered and integrated into society.
“As the ultimate expression of the thrill of instant acceleration and agile handling that’s at the heart of Nissan zero-emission driving, Nissan is going to electrify the Formula E championship,” said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president of global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business, and chairman of Nissan’s management committee for Japan, Asia and Oceania. “Nissan will be the first Japanese brand to enter this growing championship, bringing our long history of motorsports success to the Formula E grid. It will give us a global platform for bringing our pioneering Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy to a new generation of racing fans.
“Nissan’s DNA is rich in innovation in electric mobility, not to mention a long history of success in motorsports. It makes sense that we bring these two core elements together by competing in Formula E.”
Nissan will compete from season five, which is expected to begin in late 2018, when the all-electric championship will introduce new chassis and battery specifications. The company says it will work with its partner Renault to leverage expertise and development already available, in keeping with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automotive partnership’s focus on collaboration and maximising synergies to boost competitiveness.