Nissan is getting close to committing to a long term future in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and focusing on the series as its major global motorsport programme.
An agreement is understood to have been reached recently to continue in Formula E, although it is not clear if the final sign-off and confirmation of the plan will come as early as the announcement of its 2021 motorsport programmes next month.
Technically, manufacturers have until March 31 to register for Formula E’s Gen3 rules, which are likely to stretch from November 2022 to the summer of 2026 through a four season cycle.
Nissan’s Formula E programme is embedded within both its product strategy for future electric vehicle campaigns and its international motorsport budget.
It is set to become the second firm to commit to Gen3 after Mahindra, with both Mercedes and Porsche expected to make similar pledges soon too.
Jaguar, which has participated in Formula E for the last four seasons, is expected to make its decision on whether it continues into Gen3 next month.
NIO333 has indicated to The Race that it also has a long-term future in the championship, while Dragon Penske Autosport’s plans remain unclear – with the manufacturer telling The Race last month that it had “no comments for now regarding our status for Gen3″.
Audi and BMW have already announced that they will leave Formula E before Gen3 begins.
Speaking to The Race last November, Nissan’s global motorsport director Tommaso Volpe said that Formula E “definitely shows how relevant the series is becoming for automotive in general, because of electrification.
“COVID, if anything, actually I believe is giving an extra push to electrification on the core business,” he added.
But Volpe also gave a warning, saying: “manufacturers have many ways to promote themselves and technologies including electrification, so any decision must be taken very carefully.
“So this doesn’t mean that staying in Formula E is not beneficial, it definitely is, but you can compare it with other beneficial initiatives that you can have.”
Nissan, which was one of the first major manufacturers to mass produce an electric car with the Nissan Leaf in 2010, entered Formula E in the summer of 2018 after taking over the slot previous raced in by sister brand Renault.
It has scored two victories, at the 2019 New York City E-Prix with Sebastien Buemi and at the penultimate Berlin E-Prix last August with Oliver Rowland.
The Race can reveal that Nissan e.dams has recently bolstered its technical line-up by recruiting a new head of its technical department.
Cyrille Jourdan started in his position earlier this month and joined the team after a seven-year stint working at Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne as initially a race engineer and then as race and test engineering manager.
Prior to that Jourdan worked on the Citroen World Rally Championship programme and also as a data engineer at Prost Grand Prix in Formula 1.
He will work under team owners Olivier and Gregory Driot and managing director Francois Sicard.