The FIA World Rallycross championship’s planned move to all-electric cars has been suspended by one year with the switch set for 2021.

According to a statement published by the FIA, championship promoters IMG have delayed the electric switch to allow manufacturers ‘optimal time’ to develop its plans in the series ahead of the radical change.

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World Rallycross had been set to go electric in 2020 but plans have been pushed back by one year with manufacturers given a new deadline of March 29th 2019 to confirm their plans for the electric format.

“We are on the verge of an exciting new era for motorsport,” Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of Motorsports at IMG, said. “Electric cars are increasingly important to all areas of mobility, and rallycross is the perfect platform to demonstrate the incredible performance capabilities of electric cars in a fun, competitive and cost effective environment.

“A huge amount has been accomplished in a relatively short time since the first formal meeting in June 2017. A completely new type of rallycross car has been conceived and defined, and so it is worth waiting a little longer to secure the best possible field of competitors. We believe that fans new and old will love what will be a thrilling addition to their favourite events.”

For the next two seasons the existing format and rules will be retained using internal combustion engines but plans to retain the petrol-powered cars are expected as part of the championship post-2020.

The electric cars will be based on a Oreca carbon fibre monocoque chassis using batteries from Williams Advanced Engineering with each car powered by two 250kW motors which manufacturers can develop.

Manufacturers will homologate their own bodies for the cars which are designed to accept scaled versions of production vehicles.

Independent teams can also enter the championship, either with cars supplied by manufacturers or using their own drivetrains and bodies developed from an FIA approved base design.