BMW's future electric cars won't be inspired by motorsport.
To focus its resources on developing electric ID. cars, Volkswagen announced it's quitting motorsport for good this week, marking the end of an era. Turns out this isn't the only German automaker pulling out of motorsport. BMW has just announced that it's ending end its involvement in the electric Formula E World Championship after seven years.
The Bavarian automaker will leave the championship at the end of the upcoming 2021 season starting next month in Chili. This is a massive blow for Formula E, after Audi also announced it's quitting Formula E to focus on tackling the 2022 Dakar Rally with a new mystery electric prototype. Mercedes, on the other hand, will still compete in the championship along with, Porsche, Nissan, Jaguar, and PSA's DS Automobile.
In a statement, BMW Group said it has "exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E."
Since the same engineers who develop the electric drivetrains also develop drivetrains for electric production cars like the BMW i4, experience gained from competing in the motorsport have benefited its production cars. Technology that has carried over from BMW's Formula E racecar to production cars include developments in energy management and energy efficiency, software for power electronics, and improved power density for electric motors.
With BMW focusing on expanding its production electric car range with upcoming new models like the iX, iX3, i4, i5, and i7, the Bavarian automaker simply can't justify the investment required to compete in Formula E. BMW aims to have one million electric cars on the road by the end of 2021 and hopes to increase that number to seven million by 2030.
Since entering Formula E for the 2018-2019 championship partnering with Andretti Motorsport, BMW's Formula E team has claimed four victories, four pole positions, and nine podiums in 24 races. The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid has also served as a Formula E safety car since 2014.