Though we’re just three races into the first Formula E season, excitement is building for the all-electric racing series. And that means the money is about to start pouring in. In an interview with Autosport, founder Alejandro Agag revealed that he’s expecting anywhere from six to eight new manufacturers to enter Formula E in its sophomore season.
“They are a mix of car manufacturers and others are technology companies – which is a really different option for us, so ones that produce batteries, electric motors or even a full powertrain – and we will find out who has been successful in the next week,” said Agag. “The selected manufacturers could be in a number from anything from six to eight. We will then have meetings to clearly define their roadmap of the technology level of the championship.”
Of particular interest is that the interested manufacturers include both car and technology companies, signifying the growing overlap between the two industries. Automakers have become a larger and larger part of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, revealing “gamechanging” new technologies amidst the next-gen tablets and televisions that still take up most of the show floor.
Bringing on battery and motor companies could help launch Formula E racers to the next level of performance, and hopefully the mid-race car swapping will be replaced by cars with enough battery life to last the whole race. That would give a team a huge advantage, and while the trickle down effect may not apply much to the economy these days, many of the technologies we take for granted in modern cars were developed for racing. It’s the crucible where advances in automotive technologies are pitted against each other in wheel-to-wheel battle.
So who is lining up to take part in Formula E? One company I’d be willing to bet money on is Panasonic, and BMW is probably a pretty safe bet too. Nissan would have good reason to get involved in Formula E, though I don’t expect GM or Tesla to sign on. A dark horse like Rimac Automobili could come out of the woodwork and make a go at the championship too. What car or tech companies do you hope sign on for the second Formula E season?