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Nissan is joining EV racing series Formula E next year

Nissan is becoming a member of System E, the primary world racing sequence made up of all-electric racecars. The Japanese automotive producer introduced immediately on the Tokyo Motor Present that it’s going to enter the sequence late subsequent yr at first of System E’s fifth season. It will likely be the primary producer from Japan to compete within the younger racing sequence, becoming a member of different carmakers from Germany (Audi, BMW, and — quickly — Porsche and Mercedes-Benz), China (NIO), France (DS), the UK (Jaguar), and others.

The transfer will seemingly come on the expense of Renault, based on a recent report from Motorsport.com, as Nissan has decades-old strategic partnership with the French automaker. Representatives for Nissan declined to touch upon Renault’s plans, and a consultant for Renault’s racing division didn’t reply in time for publication.

Nissan “will work with its associate Renault to leverage experience and improvement already accessible, consistent with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automotive partnership’s concentrate on collaboration and maximizing synergies to spice up competitiveness,” the corporate wrote in an announcement. Additional particulars will probably be introduced nearer to the beginning of season 5. (The start of season 4 is simply over one month away, and the groups and producers are already locked in.)

It could be a seismic shift if Nissan’s entry pushes Renault out of the game, because the French automaker has gained each staff championships since System E started permitting producers to compete in 2016. And e.Dams — the staff that runs Renault’s race operations in System E — gained the championship within the first season. It’s anticipated that e.Dams would stay with Nissan, based on Motorsport.com, placing the Japanese producer in a wonderful place because it enters System E.

It was solely began in 2014, however main producers have been flocking to System E, and for numerous causes. It’s a comparatively low monetary dedication so far as motorsports go, and so involvement System E is seen as a low-risk technique to promote an organization’s EV efforts to a brand new, youthful viewers. Corporations like Audi and Porsche, which have each been implicated in diesel emissions scandals, even quit or reduced their presence in dearer (and extra conventional) motorsports sequence in an effort to make the swap.

System E can be a place for these companies to test certain parts of their electric drivetrain technologies. The sequence solely permits the producers to develop a restricted quantity of the tech that powers the automobiles, however the sequence plans to increase what carmakers can tinker with because the seasons go by, rising the technological relevance to their highway automobiles. Nissan already competes in quite a lot of motorsports by way of its efficiency arm, Nismo, although its flirtations with hybrid electric racecars have produced unflattering results.

However, contemplating Nissan’s history with EVs, the fact that it’s about to start heavily promoting the new 2018 Leaf, and its ambitious electric plans for the future, System E looks like the precise place to be.

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