As Formula E’s third season kicks off, car companies rush to get involved
As most other racing series have either ended their seasons or are headed to their respective finales, Formula E is getting ready to kick off its third season this coming weekend in Hong Kong. Although the electric racing series was met with a fair degree of skepticism in its first year, it's starting to develop quite a buzz. Now that there's a degree of technical freedom allowed in the regulations, more and more car companies are getting involved, eager to use the series as a platform to develop new electric motor-generator units, inverters, and electric powertrain control software and electronics.
We've known for quite a while that Jaguar planned to compete in Formula E, and it will finally become a reality this weekend. Drivers Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans will take to the track in the first factory-supported racing program from the company in more than a decade. (Jaguar had an ill-fated run in Formula 1 when it bought the Stewart Grand Prix team in 1999 and then ran it into the ground before selling the operation to Red Bull, which went on to win multiple championships.)
But in recent weeks, the leaping cat has been joined by several of its rivals. BMW has partnered with Andretti Formula E, with an eye on entering a full works program in season five (2018/2019). BMW is supplying one of its factory racing drivers, Antonio Felix Da Costa, and the partnership also includes engineering support.