Renault has signed an agreement that will see it supply electric powerplants to the all-electric FIA Formula E championship series debuting in 2014.
Working as the official technical partner of Spark Racing Technology, the agreement – signed by Renault Sport Technologies’ managing director, Formula E Holdings’ CEO and the president of Spark Racing Technology – will see the 42 Formula E single-seater racers named as Spark-Renaults.
Renault Sport Technologies managing director Patrice Ratti said engineers from Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport Technologies will collaborate with Spark Racing Technology’s team to optimise the layout and performance of the EV racers’ electric powertrains.
“Renault’s expertise in electric powertrain design and integration acquired both in production EV and in Formula One makes Renault Sport a natural partner for Spark in this exciting Formula E project.”
Renault Group’s executive vice president of corporate planning, product planning and programs, Philippe Klein, said the new racing category presented an exciting opportunity for the French manufacturer.
“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.”
CEO of the electric championship’s promoter, Formula E Holdings’ Alejandro Agag, said having Renault as a partner of the series was a great testament to the growing appeal of Formula E.
“Renault and Formula E both share the same commitment to innovative technology and sustainable motoring, and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Championship as a founding partner.”
The announcement of Renault’s confirmed involvement in the one-make electric racing series follows recent comments by Renault Sport motorsport technical manager Francois Champod, who, while not saying if Nissan/Renault chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn had already committed the company to Formula E racing, did tell CarAdvice that electrification of the motorsport division would depend on the success of the Formula E championship.
Formula E is set to have its debut race in 2014 after demonstrations of the first cars later this year. A grid of 10 teams and 20 drivers is planned for the inaugural season. Renault currently supplies engines to Formula One teams Caterham, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Lotus and Williams.