Porsche has become the latest company to join the all-electric Formula E championship, confirming its participation in the EV racing category and bringing an end to its participation in the World Endurance Championship LMP1 category at the end of the 2017.
Porsche will take to the Formula E grid for the 2019 season, and joins manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, DS Automobiles, Renault, and Mahindra.
In a statement from the company, Porsche revealed that work was already underway on its electric racer, with the move to Formula E seen as a logical step for the brand as it moves towards electrification of its range.
Porsche already has experience with a range of production hybrid vehicles, and will add a production version of its Mission E electric concept before potentially expanding to electrified versions of its mainstream vehicle lines, including the iconic 911.
“Entering Formula E and achieving success in this category are the logical outcomes of our Mission E,” explained Michael Steiner, member of the executive board for research and development. “The growing freedom for in-house technology developments makes Formula E attractive to us.”
“Porsche is working with alternative, innovative drive concepts. For us, Formula E is the ultimate competitive environment for driving forward the development of high-performance vehicles in areas such as environmental friendliness, efficiency and sustainability”.
Alejandro Agag, the founder and CEO of Formula E expressed his delight at the latest addition to his racing category, and believes having Porsche on board could signal a turning point in the way electric vehicles are viewed by performance car enthusiasts.
“I’m delighted to welcome Porsche to the FIA Formula E Championship," Agag said. "If somebody told me when we started this project five years ago, that we’d be announcing a partnership with a brand like Porsche, I wouldn’t have believed it. To have a name like Porsche in Formula E, with all it represents in terms of racing and heritage - and in terms of sport cars - is an inflexion point in our quest to change the public perception about electric cars. The electric revolution continues, and Formula E remains the championship for that revolution.”
Porsche’s existing LMP1 team will form the basis of the new Formula E team as development continues through 2018, however the brand will continue to race with an internal combustion engine in both World Endurance Championship and American IMSA series GT category using the 911 RSR (pictured above).
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