BMW follows Audi and quits Formula E

BMW announced Wednesday it will end its participation in the Formula E Championship after the 2020/2021 season.

The announcement comes just days after Audi announced it will quit Formula E, also after the 2020/2021 season, and after Volkswagen said it will quit all forms of motorsport.

BMW said it is quitting Formula E to focus its efforts on ramping up its offerings of production electric vehicles. BMW together with fellow BMW Group brands Mini and Rolls-Royce plan to have one million electrified cars on the road by the end of 2021 and to increase this figure to seven million by 2030, of which two thirds will be fully electric.

BMW fifth-generation EV technology

Currently, BMW engineers are split between developing EV technology for Formula E and production models. This has already led to some technology transfer between the two fields, particularly in the area of drivetrain efficiency, drivetrain software management, and electric motor power density. In the future, these engineers will be fully focused on BMW’s production vehicles.

BMW has been involved in Formula E since the start of the electric racing series seven years ago, initially as a partner to Andretti Motorsport and later as a factory-backed team. In its final season, BMW will field the iFE.21 race car with drivers Maximilian Guenther and Jake Dennis.

In terms of BMW’s production EVs, the automaker in November revealed the iX battery-electric SUV which is due on sale in early 2022. The automaker has also started selling a battery-electric X3 overseas, and has confirmed battery-electric versions of more core models including the 3-Series, 4-Series, 5-Series, 7-Series, and X1. BMW Group plans to have more than a dozen EVs on sale by the end of 2023 across its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.

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