BMW and Nissan are reportedly in talks to join Formula E, the global all-electric racing series that was started in 2014. "Multiple sources" have confirmed to Autosport that the manufacturers are already speaking with teams about becoming a part of the series as early as the third season, which starts in the fall of this year.
BMW's motorsport division ruled out entering Formula E less than a year ago because the series requires drivers to swap cars mid-race (mostly due to battery capacity). But Formula E recently committed to implementing a single-car format by the series' fifth season. Nissan also confirmed to Autosport that the company has been conducting a "fact-finding" mission into the series as "part of an evaluation of its long-term motorsport strategy."
Either manufacturer would be a major get for the budding series
Formula E organizers opened up the series to manufacturers in the second season after forcing each one of the 10 teams to run a spec car during the inaugural season. They were allowed to work with teams to develop new drivetrain components for the cars, including the electric motor, inverter, gearbox, transmission, and the rear suspension.
This open competition attracted international manufacturers like Renault, Citroën, Mahindra, and McLaren, and it was recently announced that Jaguar would be joining the series starting in season three.
Teams have already begun developing their cars for the third season, so BMW or Nissan likely wouldn't be able to develop drivetrain technology if they join the series by then. Both could partner with existing teams in the meantime. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag told Autosport that the series is being "seriously considered by a number of manufacturers," but wouldn't confirm the new rumors.