BMW will enter the FIA Formula E Championship as an official manufacturer entry from Season 5 (2018-2019), it has been confirmed ahead of this weekend's much anticipated New York ePrix.

The German firm has long been linked with a full scale move into the all-electric championship after establishing a partnership with the existing MS Amlin Andretti team from Season 3.

From Season 5 - which begins late in 2018 -, BMW will take on Andretti's entry and develop its own powertrain, a move that will see it go head-to-head with Audi after the company confirmed its intentions to upgrade to a full manufacturer entry next season.

Another huge boost for the fledgling series, BMW and Audi is set to join existing manufacturer entries from Renault, DS Citroen and Jaguar, while Mercedes has also 'reserved' a place as it considers its options too.

"Through our involvement in Formula E, we are addressing the development towards sustainable and emission-free mobility in the automobile industry and are also making a contribution to the brand's progression to BMW iNEXT," said Klaus Fr?hlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.

"This project is thoroughly driven by technology. We are using Formula E as a development laboratory, operating under the unique conditions that prevail in motor racing - with very unique demands and opportunities. The borders between production and motor racing development are more blurred at BMW i Motorsport than in any other project. The result is a technology transfer on a whole new level. We are certainly confident that the BMW Group will benefit greatly from the experience gained in the field of electrotechnology during this project."

BMW has long indicated an interest in entering Formula E, but opted to limit its commitment to partnering with the American Andretti team until race technology had progressed.

However, having previously cited the mid-race car changeover as a drawback, the introduction of longer range full race batteries from Season 5 has convinced BMW to enter.

"Formula E has developed fantastically as a racing series and, as a new, technology-based project, is perfectly suited to the BMW Group and BMW Motorsport," said BMW Motorsport's Jens Marquardt.

"Forging new paths and driving innovation - these are values shared by BMW and Formula E. Because it is very important for us to demonstrate our technological expertise, we have shown a firm commitment to this project through the registration of BMW AG as an official manufacturer and are facing up to the growing competition there.

"The changes we required for our involvement will come into effect in Season 5 - these include, for example, the omission of the car changeover. We are already seeing in our development work that colleagues from the production and motorsport departments are collaborating in a completely new way.

"The result is new paths, which we are forging together in the matter of electric drivetrains. In Formula E, we will demonstrate both our innovative expertise and our sporting spirit. The series represents a completely new challenge for us - a challenge we are happy to take on together with Andretti Formula E. Andretti is the ideal partner for this mission. The name needs no introduction in international motor racing. Our cooperation is already working very well, and we look forward to taking the next steps together."

 

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