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Nissan confirms Formula E entry, Renault to leave series

Nissan has confirmed it will enter Formula E from 2018/19, as predicted by Autosport

The Japanese manufacturer announced on Wednesday at the Tokyo Motor Show that it will enter the electric single-seater series in place of an existing manufacturer.

As reported by Autosport earlier this month, this will be at the expense of Renault.

Nissan and Renault are part of the same motorsport group and discussions have been ongoing for some time about replacing the French marque in FE with the Nissan brand.

Autosport understands official confirmation of Renault's withdrawal as a technical partner and backer of the e.dams FE team will be communicated later on Wednesday.

This will free up Renault to focus on its works Formula 1 team, which is in the second season of its revival.

As e.dams holds the FE entry it is expected to operate the Nissan team, which will utilise a powertrain that bears the Nissan name but has been developed by Renault for the past two years.

Nissan is a major player in the electric vehicle industry, with its LEAF the best-selling EV in the world, and will become the first Japanese motor manufacturer to compete in the series.

It will take over FE's most successful operation by virtue of e.dams' trio of teams' titles, two of which came as the works Renault team.

Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president of global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and battery business, and chairman of Nissan's management committee for Japan, Asia and Oceania, said it provided a "global platform" to share its electric mobility strategy.

"Nissan's DNA is rich in innovation in electric mobility, not to mention a long history of success in motorsports," he added.

"It makes sense that we bring these two core elements together by competing in Formula E."

Nissan has been without a flagship international race programme since axing its failed LMP1 project at the end of 2015.

It will join BMW as a fully fledged manufacturer in 2018/19, with Mercedes and Porsche joining officially one season later.

FE CEO Alejandro Agag called it "a momentous day for the series".

"Not only is it great to welcome a new manufacturer to the Formula E family, it's great to see our first Japanese manufacturer entering the frame, showing truly how global the electric revolution is," said Agag.

"Japan is a country at the forefront of new technologies with one of the biggest followings of Formula E.

"The shift towards sustainable mobility is in motion and it's unstoppable."

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