Porsche, Mercedes Confirmed For Formula E Next Season

The FIA Formula E Championship has released its full list of participating manufacturers for next season. And as expected, it confirms that both Porsche and Mercedes will join the electric series.

Both the German automakers announced their intent to enter the championship last July. And not without cost: Porsche’s entry comes at the expense of its Le Mans prototype program, while Mercedes is shutting down its DTM effort (but not its F1 team) to join the electric grid. But it wasn’t until now that their spots in the paddock were officially confirmed.

“If you had said to me then that we would be in double figures in terms of recognisable names in the world of motorsport, biggest road car manufacturers and automotive brands – I would have said you were crazy,” said series chief Alejandro Agag. “But this is the reality now.”

Audi, BMW, Jaguar and others already on board

As the latest manufacturers to join the series, the two companies from Stuttgart will go up against their mutual rivals Audi and BMW (which is stepping up with a full works entry). They’ll also contend with the likes of Jaguar, PSA’s DS brand, Indian automaker Mahindra, and Nissan (which is taking over Renault’s operation). Dragon Racing, run by Roger’s son Jay Penske, appears to be re-branding as Penske Autosport. And electric-vehicle startups NextEV and Venturi will continue supporting their own teams as well.

Although the battery and new-design chassis will be provided centrally, those eleven participating manufacturers will be responsible for developing their own powertrains. That includes the electric motor, inverter, brake-by-wire system, transmission, differential, driveshafts, cooling system, ECU, and rear suspension. The opening up of those elements represents a great deal more latitude and responsibility than the manufacturers had before.

“Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture: it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character, in order to promote current and future technologies,” noted Mercedes racing chief Toto Wolff. “Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series.”

“Over the past few years, the FIA and Alejandro Agag have done a fantastic job”, added Porsche’s Fritz Enzinger. “It is due to this development that we will be able to compete on the race track against many of the world’s largest car manufacturers.”

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  • Zandit75

    You have to wonder about VW double dipping in this category with both Porsche and Audi competing. How much cooperation will there be between the two teams?

    • Dr Strangefingger

      I hope they both lose. VW = Dr Evil.

      • Six Thousand Times

        And no different from the others.

    • Like in the WEC with Audi and Porshce, there will be no tech sharing and those two will compete at each other.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    I’ve tried to like this series, but it puts me to sleep. I need more noise.

    • Dennis James

      It’s kind of interesting, but replacing the car at the pit stop instead of charging its battery is actually promoting a lie about the current state of electric cars.

    • StrangerGP

      More noise, more speed, batteries lasting an entire race and, most of all, normal tracks, not crappy city ones with 90 degree corners and barriers surrounding everything.

    • Shahul Usman

      this..ive tried SOOO many tires.. I really WANT to like it…with Porsche and Mercedes and people making their own drivetrains and no more car changes.. Im in ..im making myself watch

  • PK

    Mercedes Benz!!!! <3

  • I still don’t see the relevance of this series to electric road car, but at least they get team and budget limit in place.

  • Six Thousand Times

    All tight little street circuits to keep a lid on the racing.

  • R55

    Make them faster, and put them on actual race circuits, not streets with silly chicanes and 90deg corners.

  • Karl Oellinger

    Porsche, Mercedes will start with Season 6 (SIX) > December 2019.
    Season 5, starting December 2018, will bring new cars, larger Batteries, no Stop to switch cars and BMW.