BMW, Nissan eye Formula E entry

While already (sort of) involved with the electric racing series, the automakers might like their own teams.

BMW has been involved with the all-electric Formula E racing series since the beginning. It provides the safety car in the form of the eye-catching i8, with the i3 performing medical car duties. BMW's i division even sponsored the 2016 Berlin ePrix. Nissan has also been involved with Formula E – though more tangentially so – as its French partner Renault has provided the car each team used for the first season, and sponsors its own team as well (which won the Teams' Championship both seasons so far). Now that more automakers are joining the field (notably including Jaguar's return to open-wheel racing), BMW and Nissan are reportedly considering getting in the mix to try to win some races, too.

Multiple sources tell Autosport that both automakers are looking into being on the grid as early as the 2016/2017 season. Since the series already has its ten teams confirmed for the third season, Nissan and BMW would have to join an existing team for the time being, which is what Autosport's sources are saying is being discussed. Nissan refers to its consideration as a "fact-finding" mission.

BMW had said earlier that it wouldn't compete as long as mid-race car swaps were part of the practice. Formula E is looking to move toward a single car format as early as the 2018/2019 season, which could make BMW's direct involvement more palatable to the automaker. As for Nissan, it would have to garner approval from the Renault-Nissan Alliance to compete against its sister company in the same racing category.

Either way, it's unlikely that either manufacturer would be able to provide powertrain technology should they join teams for the upcoming season. Still, both Nissan and BMW have made strong commitments to consumer electric vehicles. To be directly involved in the competition would not only be a great way to showcase their prowess in the world of electric motoring, it could also help to bring more attention to Formula E.

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