BMW has been a staple figure in Formula E since the very beginning. It’s been an important technological partner for the all-electric racing series and has had multiple wins and podiums via the BMW i Andretti Autosport team. Now though things are coming to an end with BMW’s involvement in Formula E, as it’s decided to stop taking part after Season 7.
BMW will no longer have a works team via its involvement with Andretti Autosport and the manufacturer will no longer be involved with other aspects of the series.
The reason why BMW has decided to stop being involved is to do with the pace of drivetrain development and a bigger focus on production cars. The German manufacturer feels like it has “essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.” B
MW will instead be shifting its EV priorities towards its goals of mass-market e-mobility. “BMW Group plans to have put one million electric vehicles on the roads by the end of 2021,” reads the company’s statement. “The goal is to increase this figure to seven million by 2030, of which two-thirds will be fully-electric.”
BMW has been very clear that its main reason for being involved in Formula E was to use the series as a way to test new EV technology for its production cars. With those options seemingly now coming to a standstill for BMW, it makes sense that the company would want to pull out of the series.
BMW isn’t the only manufacturer to pull out of Formula E. Audi has also announced in the run-up to Season 7 that it will be pulling out of Formula E after 2021 to focus on the new LMDh endurance racing regulations, as well as an entry into the Dakar Rally in 2022. Nissan, Jaguar, DS, NIO and Mahindra all seem to be remaining in the series for the foreseeable future.
Since entering a works team into Formula E in Season 5 via its partnership with Andretti Autosport, BMW has claimed 4 victories, 4 pole positions and 9 podiums in 24 races. Drivers who have driven for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport team include 2 time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne, current champion Antonio Felix da Costa, Simona de Silvestro and former Formula 1 drivers Scott Speed and Kamui Kobayashi.
BMW i Andretti Autosport will be competing in Season 7 as normal, with Maximilian Günther and Jake Dennis driving the BMW iFE.21. There is no news as of yet on whether Andretti Autosport will carry on in Formula E, either as a privateer team or under the backing of a different manufacturer.