Pending approval from the FIA, Mercedes Grand Prix Ltd will be able to take one of the two new team slots due to be made available in the electric series’ fifth season.
That season will be the first to require drivers to use one car for a race’s entirety, rather than the two-cars-per-race format that is currently employed.
Mercedes' announcement came from its grand prix headquarters in Brackley, suggesting the electric outfit could make use of the team's F1 facilities.
Formula 1 engines are made at Mercedes' High Performance Powertrains site in Brixworth, as was the electric drivetrain of the Mercedes-AMG SLS Electric Drive, so it's already well placed to produce motors for Formula E.
A Mercedes spokesperson told Autocar that while the Formula E agreement leaves the door open for Mercedes to enter a team, no final decision has been made. "No project exists at this stage so we can't comment further," he said.
Rival car maker BMW is also involved in Formula E through a partnership with Andretti Racing, but the deal ends at the close of the 2017/2018 season. Following this, BMW could choose to enter a full factory-run team to rival Mercedes, as suggested by recent comments from BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson.
“[When] we can have an impact through developing our own batteries, which will be good enough to go through a race without the need for a stop, and when there is a broad audience at downtown venues, manufacturers will want to get involved,” he said. “And at that point the competition between manufacturers will also be appealing.
“How things will turn out remains to be seen, but our partnership with Andretti gives us options to get more involved.”
If both Mercedes and BMW choose to field factory teams in the 2018/2019 season, they will be race against the recently launched Jaguar Racing, as well as Audi, which is becoming increasingly involved with the ABT Sportsline team, and Renault via its e.Dams team.