This week, Jaguar announced it would enter the FIA Formula E Championship next year with its own team and powertrain. But it won't be the only new manufacturer on the grid next season. In confirming Jaguar's arrival, the FIA also revealed that Dragon Racing has been approved as a constructor as well. It's the latest in a move that will see the technical bits of the all-electric race cars evolve over time.

Started in 2007 by publishing mogul Jay Penske (son of Roger Penske) and computer storage magnate Stephen J. Luczo (chairman and CEO of Seagate), Dragon Racing competed for seven years in the IndyCar Series before switching over to Formula E last year. After Jérôme d'Ambrosio won the Berlin ePrix and finished second in both London races, and Loïc Duval took two more podium finishes, Dragon Racing finished the inaugural championship in second place. The team retained the same lineup for this season, finishing 4-5 and 14-16 in the two races so far.

Dragon raced with the same spec Spark-McLaren powertrain package as all the other teams in the first season, but rather than stick with the same this season or develop its own, it contracted rival team Venturi – one of the eight manufacturers approved for this season – to provide its motivation. However now it has announced its intention to develop its own powertrain for next season instead of continuing with Venturi's.

The inaugural season of the electric racing series saw all the teams running identical equipment, with a package jointly developed by Dallara, McLaren, Williams, Renault, and Spark Racing Technology. The rules were expanded for the second season, mandating the same chassis but allowing eight approved constructors to develop their own electric motor, inverter, gearbox, and cooling system. The latitude in technical development was originally scheduled to extend to the battery system as well for season three, however that stage has now been pushed back to season five at the earliest. In the meantime Williams is expected to develop a new battery pack that will be standard issue across the grid.

This season saw the Abt-Audi, DS Virgin, Mahindra, NextEV TCR, Renault e.Dams, Trulli, and Venturi teams run under their own power. Andretti was approved to develop its own as well, but ultimately joined Aguri in sticking with the existing spec package. With Trulli dropping out, but Jaguar and Dragon stepping up as manufacturers, at least eight of the teams will use their own powertrains next season. That's assuming all the current manufacturers continue next season. If Andretti gets its package in order, that will make nine.

Speaking with Autosport, series organizer Alejandro Agag said he expected more manufacturers to follow. "It's transforming for Formula E, it changes totally the appeal of Formula E and confirms it as a platform for OEMs that are not in motorsport already," said Agag. "I think it's going to provoke almost a landslide of other OEMs. We're talking to many, they are waiting to see who is first - and now the first is coming."
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NEW MANUFACTURERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2016/2017 SEASON OF FIA FORMULA E

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) today announced the names of the new constructors that will take part in the FIA Formula E Championship from the 2016/2017 season. The constructors selected for homologation are Dragon Racing and Jaguar.

In addition, some constructors currently taking part in the second season of Formula E have presented new homologation requests for drivetrains that they intend to use in 2016/17.

"We are pleased to welcome new constructors to the FIA Formula E Championship," said FIA President Jean Todt.

"It is particularly pleasing that a prestigious brand like Jaguar has chosen this championship for its official return to competition after a long absence.

"We created this series to offer constructors the opportunity to compete and to develop technologies that could be transferred to road-going electric cars.

"It is encouraging to see the number of requests increasing all the time, and that the technological solutions proposed by constructors currently involved in the championship are quite different from one another.

"It's an indication of the vitality and attractiveness of this series."

The third round of the second Formula E season takes place on 19 December at Punta del Este (Uruguay.)

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