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July 17, 2017

BMW to go EV racing

BMW announced it would contest the FIA Formula E Championship as an official manufacturer in Season 5 (2018/19).

BMW announced it would contest the FIA Formula E Championship as an official manufacturer in Season 5 (2018/19).

The cars, equipped with a completely newly-developed drivetrain, will be run by the Andretti Formula E team as the automaker's works entry in the series comprising races in cities worldwide.

"The main driving force behind the new i Motorsport is the development of innovative technology in the field of electromobility, in which the company has established a leading role over the past 10 years. The consistent implementation of the new motor racing strategy also includes the expansion of classic activities at M Motorsport," BMW said in a statement.

It added Formula E is "the perfect development laboratory for production-related electric powertrain technology".

"Through our involvement in Formula E, we are addressing the development towards sustainable and emission-free mobility in the automobile industry and are also making a contribution to the brand's progression to iNEXT," said development chief Klaus Fröhlich. "This project is thoroughly driven by technology. We are using Formula E as a development laboratory, operating under the unique conditions that prevail in motor racing – with very unique demands and opportunities. The borders between production and motor racing development are more blurred at i Motorsport than in any other project. The result is a technology transfer on a whole new level. We are certainly confident that the group will benefit greatly from the experience gained in the field of electrotechnology during this project."

Motorsport director Jens Marquardt said: "We are already seeing in our development work that colleagues from the production and motorsport departments are collaborating in a completely new way. The series represents a completely new challenge for us – a challenge we are happy to take on together with Andretti Formula E. Andretti is the ideal partner for this mission. The name needs no introduction in international motor racing. Our cooperation is already working very well, and we look forward to taking the next steps together."

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