As one of the most respected brands on the market today, BMW is ready to enter the Formula E racing circuit in a way it hasn’t in the past. This brand has been involved since season two with the racing as a technical partner with Andretti Autosport and the Formula E team it offered, but now this brand will be a powertrain provider for the series. This adds more of an investment into the sport for BMW and allows them to have a higher stake in what is going on in the world of electric automotive racing.
As part of this realignment, the brand will take charge of the Andretti Autosport entry and put it under the BMW i Motorsport banner. The Andretti team will continue to operate as normal, but the cars will now use BMW designed eMotors, gearboxes, differentials and casings in order to have the right way to race around the track. This isn’t where the BMW interest ends when it comes to the racing on the Formula E circuit though, this automaker has many more interests in this sport which might eventually serve those of us that love to drive BMW models on the streets we enjoy daily.
BMW also intends to use Formula E racing as a developmental lab to eventually offer production related electric powertrain technology which could become the basis for the performance models we see come out of the i Division of BMW in the future. This is the right place to do this because of the conditions that occur in motor racing and the rules that are in place to help automakers learn more about how their own technology is able to perform at the track when in a race which can then translate to a performance production model.
Another reason for BMW to enter the Formula E division in a greater capacity for the 2018/2019 season is the change in the regulations that now banishes a mid-race car swap. This has allowed more automakers to become interested and how they want to bring cars and teams to Formula E to make it even more competitive and fun for us as fans. This part of the racing world has been growing for the past few years and will soon show use that driving an electric powertrain can bring the same fun and excitement as other forms of racing.
With BMW using this are as a testing hotbed for its powertrains we’ll see more of what we’re looking for when it comes to the vehicles that are put on the track. The development of a variety of technologies that we will hope to see in our own cars will be on display at Formula E events all over the world. This creates a new challenge for BMW but also a new opportunity to expand and grow what they’ve already been working on in their i Division. It should be fun to see what BMW has done and how they enter the races with their new powertrains in this young and growing part of the racing world during the next racing season.