Mercedes will race alongside manufacturers including Audi, BMW, DS, Jaguar, Mahindra, NextEV and Renault in the series, which is increasingly attracting car makers eager to market their electric powertrain prowess. The VW Group is said to be considering entering a second brand in Formula E as well as Audi, although it is not clear if this will be Porsche or Skoda. Mercedes has also confirmed it will continue its efforts in Formula 1.
A Mercedes statement confirmed that it would be joining Formula E in the interests of accelerating the development of its future lineup of EQ-badged electric road cars.
Jens Thiemer, Vice President of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, said: “Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our attractive battery powered electric vehicles, as well as giving an emotional spin to our EQ technology brand through motorsport and marketing.”
Mercedes motorsport boss, Toto Wolff, described Formula E as “a brand new form of racing that reflects a rapidly changing automotive landscape”.
Mercedes, which so far has shown a pure electric SUV concept named EQ, will unveil a hatchback variant of the same name at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Like Volkswagen’s ID range of electric cars, the EQ lineup is expected to cover all major segments of cars on sale.
Talking about Mercedes's departure from DTM, Wolff said" “Our years in the DTM will always be held high as a major chapter in the motorsport history of Mercedes."