Ford is looking at a potential entry into the pure-electric ABB Formula E series.
According to electric racing website e-Racing365, Ford has approached Formula E about entering and recently ramped up discussions with the series. The Blue Oval could begin racing the electric open-wheel cars by as early as next season, but instead of starting up its own team from scratch, it’s more likely that Ford branding will appear on an existing team’s entry.
Formula E has a strict 12-team, 24-car maximum entry list. There are currently only 10 teams in the series, but Porsche and Mercedes-Benz already have dibs on the 11th and 12th slots, with both brands set to enter the series for the 2019-2020 season. That means Ford will pretty much be forced into partnering with an existing team, and e-Racing365 points out that Dragon Racing and Virgin Racing are two of the only true candidates. Dragon Racing seems particularly well-suited for a Ford re-brand, as it’s owned American businessman Jay Penske.
In January, Ford announced it had sidelined $11 billion in order to introduce 16 fully electric cars within the next five years, the first of which is slated for a 2020 arrival. The investment is double of what it had previously planned to spend on EVs, and represents a more serious approach toward electrification for a company that has been slow to adopt such technology, especially compared to its crosstown rivals at General Motors. Its rumored interest in Formula E is largely representative of this new-found approach toward EVs, and could have a positive impact on its future electric product.