Ex-Williams Formula 1 engineer Rod Nelson has joined the NIO Formula E team as its new head of research and development.

Nelson leaves Williams after four years in the role of chief test and support engineer, having also enjoyed stints in F1 with Lotus, Renault, Benetton and Arrows.

The switch marks Nelson’s first foray into Formula E, but he hopes his wealth of F1 experience will prove useful to NIO in the all-electric series.

“With a background in Formula 1, I am very happy to be joining NIO at this exciting time,” Nelson said.

“Whilst there are many elements of crossover between F1 and Formula E, the emphasis between them is often quite different.

“It seems a certainty that electric racing is the future of motorsport and I’m relishing the prospect of attacking the unique challenges racing electric vehicles will bring.”

NIO Formula E chief Gérry Hughes added: “I am delighted that Rod will be joining the NIO Performance Programme as the Head of the newly formed Research and Development Department.

“This is a key appointment for our expanding organisation and sends a clear message that here at NIO, we will continue to strive to be the very best.

“Rod brings with him a wealth of experience in motorsport, spanning a F1 career of over 25 years and this will be fundamental to our success going forwards.”