Nissan is to become the Japanese car maker to join the track in the electric car racing event, the Formula E—and it is going to do so in collaboration with oil major Shell.
Making its official on-track debut this year at the racing event, Nissan is drawing on its considerable experience in making electric cars — it has been manufacturing the best-selling Leaf since 2010, recently reporting it has sold its 365,000th model sold.
But interestingly, it will be doing so in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell which, like other oil majors, is beginning to see the light — be it ever so faint—and investing in electric car and EV charging technology.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with a company like Nissan, which shares our commitment to supporting a lower-carbon transportation system,” said Joerg Wienke, vice president of global retail marketing in a statement to the press.
Nissan’s debut in the 2018 Formula E season is also made possible by the recent stake bought by the Japanese carmaker in the e.dams Formula E team from founder Jean-Paul Driot, which was announced last month.
Nissan’s move to enter the Formula E is not a snap decision, however — it revealed plans in March 2018 to join the track at the Geneva Motor Show when it showed off its concept livery for the all-electric racing championship.
“Formula E represents the performance side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility – our vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society,” said Roel de Vries, Nissan’s global head of brand and marketing.
“As the world leader in delivering electric cars to consumers, we’re eager to work with a renowned energy company like Shell to promote zero-emission mobility through this championship.”
Driving in the event, which begins on December 15 2018, are 2015-16 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi and fellow racer Alex Albon.
“Nissan is bringing a lot of EV knowledge to the championship, and e.dams has been a strong contender in Formula E from the start,” said Buemi. “Hopefully, we’ll be very successful.”
To get started, they will first be getting on the track at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, along with 10 other teams as they begin three days of testing in preparation for the upcoming season.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.