BMW has announced that it will exit the ABB Formula E series after Season 7. The announcement came on December 2, just a day after the series’ pre-season Valencia test days ended with BMW i Andretti’s Max Günther setting the fastest time.
BMW’s offered the following explanation:
“After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship at the end of the coming season. As a partner from the word go, BMW has consistently supported the Formula E project and been instrumental in the series’ success story. BMW has enjoyed victories and podiums with the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team. BMW Group has always used Formula E as a tech lab for production.
The same engineers who develop the drivetrains for electric production vehicles are also responsible for the drivetrains in the race cars. Examples of the successful transfer of technology between the Formula E project and production development include new findings regarding energy management and energy efficiency, the transfer of software for power electronics from racing to production, and an improvement in the power density of the e-motors.
When it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.
Furthermore, the strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of emobility. In the future, greater emphasis will be placed on the comprehensive scaling of the offering and global production. BMW Group plans to have put 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the roads by the end of 2021. The goal is to increase this figure to 7,000,000 by 2030, of which two-thirds will be fully-electric.
Since entering a works team in Season 5, BMW i Andretti Motorsport has claimed four victories, four pole positions, and nine podiums in its 24 races so far. In the coming season, the team will do everything it can to achieve as much sporting success on the track as possible with the BMW iFE.21 and drivers Maximilian Günther and Jake Dennis.”
The announcement came just two days after Audi announced that it would exit the series at the end of Season 7. The new season begins with a double-header in Santiago, Chile on January 16–17.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy BMW Motorsport.]