- French automaker Renault, which has returned to the top echelon of Formula 1 racing in recent years, has joined the effort to create Formula E, a grand prix series using electric-powered cars.
- The new series is scheduled for a 2014 launch.
- The French company is the leading supplier of V8 engines in Formula 1.
PARIS — French automaker Renault, which has returned to the top echelon of Formula 1 racing in recent years, has joined the effort to create Formula E, a grand prix series using electric-powered cars.
The new series is scheduled for a 2014 launch. Renault SAS, the company's electric vehicle developmental arm, will partner with Spark Racing Technology with the mission of optimizing the electric powertrains, which will be provided by Renault's F1 rival, McLaren.
Chassis for the new series will be built by Italian manufacturer Dallara.
Renault supplies engines for the triple-defending champion Red Bull team and driving champion Sebastian Vettel. It also has a works team featuring former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen and is engine supplier for the Caterham F1 team.
The company also is at the forefront of development of electric vehicles in Europe and, with its alliance with Japanese manufacture Nissan, globally.
"Formula E is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the excellence and the reliability of our EV solutions," said Philippe Klein, executive vice president for corporate planning, product planning and programs of Renault Group. "We believe that motorsport is an efficient manner to promote the efficiency of new technologies, and we're eager to use that single-seater in FIA Formula E championship to show our technology is the best."
Formula E will be sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the governing body of Formula 1. In March, the new series announced a tentative eight-race schedule, with events on temporary circuits in major cities in Europe, North and South America and Asia.
Edmunds says: The revolutionary Formula E series continues to gain traction.