Nissan to join Formula E championship; Indian eyes on Mahindra

Nissan will become the first Japanese automotive brand to compete in the all-electric FIA Formula E racing championship starting in 2018, organisers announced today.

Formula E said in a statement that Nissan would replace one of the existing manufacturers in 2018-19, the fifth season of the race. Media reports have indicated that the team replaced will be alliance partner Renault, allowing the French manufacturer to focus on its Formula One team.

"To have a name like Nissan coming on board is a momentous day for the series," said Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag in a statement.

"It's great to see our first Japanese manufacturer entering the frame, showing truly how global the electric revolution is. Japan is a country at the forefront of new technologies with one of the biggest followings of Formula E."

Manufacturers already involved in the electric series include BMW, Audi, Renault, Jaguar, Citroen and India's Mahindra & Mahindra.

Mercedes and Porsche are due to arrive for season six, which is scheduled to start in 2019 and end in 2020.

For Nissan, the move to participate in the growing Formula E series gives it a highly visible global platform from which to spread the message of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – the company's three-pillar strategy to redefine how its vehicles are driven, powered and integrated into society.

''As the ultimate expression of the thrill of instant acceleration and agile handling that's at the heart of Nissan zero-emission driving, Nissan is going to electrify the Formula E championship,'' said Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president of global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business, and chairman of Nissan's management committee for Japan, Asia and Oceania.

''Nissan will be the first Japanese brand to enter this growing championship, bringing our long history of motorsports success to the Formula E grid. It will give us a global platform for bringing our pioneering Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy to a new generation of racing fans,'' Schillaci added.

Nissan cemented its position as the leading mass-market zero-emission brand with last month's unveiling of the new Nissan Leaf. The second generation of the five-door all-electric vehicle is packed with ingenious technology that embraces the early steps of advanced driver assistance.

The new Leaf replaces the first-generation model, which pioneered accessible zero-emission mobility with its launch in 2010. Nissan has sold more than 280,000 Leafs globally, making it the world's best-selling electric vehicle. The Leaf customers have driven more than 3.5 billion zero-emission kilometres combined.

''Nissan's DNA is rich in innovation in electric mobility, not to mention a long history of success in motorsports,'' said Schillaci.

''It makes sense that we bring these two core elements together by competing in Formula E.''

Launched in 2014, the FIA Formula E championship is a global racing series where teams and manufacturers compete with all-electric power trains on street circuits set up in major

''The shift toward sustainable mobility is in motion, and it's unstoppable,'' said Agag. I look forward to seeing the Nissan logo adorned on the new-look cars for season five.''

Season four of Formula E begins this December and runs until July. The global championship visits key venues including Hong Kong, Berlin, Paris, New York and Montreal.