Nissan becomes the first Japanese carmaker to join Formula E
Unlike other motorsport racing that uses conventional internal combustion engines (ICE), Formula E is the world’s first electric street racing series.
But just like its other racing counterparts, it is defined by real street rivalries and action-packed clashes among racers.
Formula E made its global debut in the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing in 2014, and since then, has grown into a global entertainment brand with motorsport at its heart.
Currently, there are 11 teams and 22 drivers on the grid, and has become a destination for the world’s best motorsport teams and talent.
A total of nine manufacturers are now on board, the latest being Nissan, since Formula E serves as a competitive platform for global car manufacturers and mobility providers to test and develop road-relevant technologies.
Nissan is the first Japanese carmaker to join the Formula E series, making its debut in season five of the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E street racing championship in December 2018.
The decision was obvious and inevitable, since Nissan is the global leader in electric cars, with more than 400,000 units of its Leaf sold.
The Japanese carmaker introduces a new dimension in its Nissan Intelligent Mobility program by showing off a “performance side” in its vision to change how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.
It’s not just about developing the fastest racecars, but also finding real world applications.
Formula E street racing allows manufacturers to try out concepts and technologies to improve, refine and develop electric vehicle designs that improve safety, reliability, power, and driving range.
Nissan believes that electric vehicles are the future and answer to sustainable transportation and climate change.
This perspective truly echoes Nissan’s vision for the future of mobility and cities.
The concept of sustainability for Formula E is to reduce one’s carbon footprint as much as possible, and have a positive impact on both people and the planet.
Formula E cars are powered with a virtually zero emission and 100 percent renewable fuel, from their revolutionary Formula E glycerine generators.
The unique tires are recyclable hybrids specially designed by Michelin.
Even the event itself did not offer parking spaces to encourage the use of public transportation.
With five seasons of all-electric city street racing, the Formula E Championship has one of the best sporting calendars in the world, with 13 races in 12 of the world’s most progressive cities covering five continents.
The technology of racing around the circuit is ever-changing.
Season 5 sees 22 Gen2 cars racing around the track for the very first time.
The new Gen2 racecars have double the energy storage capacity of the Gen1 car, which means it can complete a whole race without the need for mid-race car swaps.
With 250 kW of power, the Gen2 will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8-seconds, and have a top speed of 280 km/h.
The Hong Kong race is a 1.86-km street circuit that utilizes the the streets of the Hong Kong’s Central Harbourfront, with landmarks such as the International Finance Centre, Hong Kong Observation Wheel and Hong Kong City Hall providing a spectacular backdrop.
The Nissan team is led by e.dams, a race team based in Le Mans, France, and was launched in 2013 by DAMS (Driot Associés Motorsport) with co-founder Jean-Paul Driot.
They are the most successful race team in Formula E history, with e.dams team winning the first three team titles in the series for a total of 15 wins, 15 poles, 26 podiums, and 10 fastest laps in the first four seasons.
The team also holds the series’ records for the most points (905) in the first four seasons, and led a record-setting 500 laps in the history of the Formula E championship.
Nissan e.dams racer Sebastien Buemi won the inaugural Hong Kong E-Prix in 2016. He and teammate Oliver Rowland was looking to repeat the strong pace they showed at last month’s Mexico City E-Prix, where Rowland recorded the fastest time out of all the 22 Formula E drivers in group qualifying before going fourth fastest in his first Super Pole session.
However, the tight and short track of the Hong Kong E-Prix proved to be a big challenge as both drivers were not able to finish the race.
Michael Carcamo, who was also in Hong Kong, is Nissan Global Motorsports director. He leads Nissan’s debut season in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the all-electric street racing championship.
In addition to managing the Formula E program, he oversees activities including Super GT, IMSA, Blancpain GT Series Asia, and Canada’s Micra Cup.