The spotlight on electric cars has clearly got the world talking about the future of mobility and something similar can be said about motorsports as well. While Formula 1 remains one of the most viewed sporting events in the world, its electric equivalent is gaining a lot of ground and with a whole bunch of European manufacturers showing greater interest in the sport, there’s a chance of more coming. While India too is part of the racing series, there are no Japanese car makers who make the cut yet, but that’s about to change.
Motorsport reports that the Renault-Nissan alliance is in discussions on how to best operate the motorsport programmes for the two manufacturers. Renault is already part of the Formula E series and with the e.adams has won 15 races till date and has won all the team championship ever since the season started in 2014. But now, it looks like Renault will take a back seat as multiple sources have confirmed to Motorsport that Nissan’s move to the electric single-seater race has been green-lighted.
Mike Carcamo, the boss of Nissan's global motorsport arm NISMO, visited the Renault e.dams team and the FIA during the Valencia pre-season test last week. Nissan is one of the biggest sellers of electric vehicles in the world and it was recently that the company launched the next generation of its best-selling electric car, the Leaf. Considering the company’s expertise in making electric cars, the transition to Formula E is something that we expected.
However, the news comes at a time when other Japanese carmakers like Honda and Toyota are showing interest in entering the Formula E Racing series. While there is no official confirmation yet, we expect Nissan to make an announcement next year. There’s no chance of it happening sooner though, as Renault e.dams launched its 2017/18 challenger, the Z.E.17, last month and a major rebranding post that is not expected.
Nissan’s last attempt of entering a major international racing championship was plagued with failure which is why the company ended up axing its LMP1 project at the end of 2015. We hope it will be different this time around.