It has not been a great month for fans of electric racing cars. First Volkswagen shut its motor sport department, killing its extraordinary Pikes Peak-busting, Goodwood Hill record-smashing ID R in the process. Then Audi withdrew from Formula E, followed with undignified haste two days later by BMW.
The real worry lay within the latter’s cited reason for leaving. It stated ominously that it had ‘essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer’. Being a cynical cove, I naturally presumed they were all at it just to put their most environmentally saintly foot forward in front of a captive audience of willing converts upon whom they could then foist their existing and forthcoming battery electric cars. But if there were legitimate engineering reasons for participation and those reasons are now ‘exhausted’, it doesn’t bode particularly well for the future of the formula.
Formula E will weather this storm for now because there are still enough manufacturers involved, including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Nissan and Jaguar. But it is not looking quite as future proof as it once was.