Japanese manufacturer takes full ownership of its Formula E operation
Nissan announced today the acquisition of the e.dams race team, thus taking full ownership of its involvement in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The team is currently based in Le Mans, France, and will continue to race as planned in Season 8.
Nissan’s participation in Formula E supports the company’s long-term commitment to electrification and sustainability laid out in Nissan’s Ambition 2030 plan. This acquisition is therefore a natural step for the Japanese OEM to take full control of its Formula E project.
Nissan entered the series in 2018 in partnership with e.dams, with both companies racing together in the all-electric championship as the Nissan e.dams Formula E team. In March 2021, the Japanese automaker announced its commitment to the Formula E Gen3 era, which will run from Season 9 (2022/23) through to the end of Season 12 (2025/26) of the series.
The change in ownership and new management structure will take place with immediate effect. Tommaso Volpe, general manager Nissan Formula E, will also become managing director at e.dams.
“These are exciting times for all of us at Nissan, our fans and customers everywhere,” said Ashwani Gupta, Nissan's chief operating officer. “We have been on the grid for over 85 years, and our desire to win continuously accelerates us forward. We learn as we race, and the relentless pace of technological progression that drives the Formula E championship will provide us with many opportunities to inform and develop even better cars for customers.
“The acquisition of the e.dams team not only reconfirms our long-term commitment to Formula E, but also to the exciting, high-performance world of motorsports competition as a whole. But we don’t only love to compete. We’re also passionate about delivering innovative and exciting driving experiences while demonstrating our commitment to zero emission and sustainable solutions. This acquisition will further empower us in the strategic electrification objectives of our business.”
Nissan races in this all-electric world championship to bring the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global and diverse audience. As part of its goal to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050, Nissan intends to electrify all its new vehicle offerings by the early 2030s in key markets. The Japanese automaker aims to bring its expertise in transferring knowledge and technology between the Formula E racetrack and road for better electric vehicles for customers.
“I am delighted that Nissan is taking over e.dams and today we are thinking of Jean-Paul Driot who, together with Nissan, had the vision for the team and helped to develop our partnership,” said Volpe. “Since his passing in 2019, Olivier and Grégory Driot took over and made sure the legacy of their father’s success would continue. It has been a pleasure working together and I would like to thank them for their commitment and support.
“This is an important step in our Formula E project. As the pinnacle of all-electric racing, Formula E gives us an engaging global platform from which we can show customers that EVs are not only fun and thrilling, but also that Nissan continues to be at the cutting edge of EV technology. We were happy to enter the sport in 2018 in partnership with e.dams. We have had a strong and successful collaboration, and we have learnt a great deal from their long-term experience in the series. We have a fantastic team in place, and we are looking forward to building on our success and experience together as a team, and to beginning this new chapter in our Formula E involvement.”
Olivier and Grégory Driot, also commented: "We are very proud to hand over the e.dams team to such a committed and innovative company as Nissan. We’ve had several open discussions in recent months with Nissan and we decided that it was the right time for them to take the reins and continue the legacy of our family and secure the long-term future of the employees.
“Since the passing of our father, it’s been an honour for us to partner with a global brand such as Nissan in Formula E and we are proud of what we have achieved together. We would like to thank all the e.dams staff for their hard work and commitment over the years and we wish Nissan all the very best for the remainder of Season 8 and beyond.”
About Nissan in Formula E
Nissan made its all-electric racing debut in Season 5 (2018/19) of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, becoming the first and only Japanese manufacturer to enter the series.
For the current season (Season 8), highly successful veteran, Sébastien Buemi, remains with the team for his fourth season, having joined Nissan e.dams since the start of its Formula E journey in 2018. The Swiss racer partners with rising star Maximilian Günther, who joined the team in September 2021. The German driver has previously demonstrated great pace in the championship with three race victories and a second-place podium.
The team continues to link its presence in the all-electric championship to Nissan's road EVs. Buemi races once more in his #23 Nissan Ariya, named after the Japanese manufacturer’s all-new electric crossover SUV. Günther takes over the #22 Nissan LEAF, named after the brand’s well-known EV, first launched in 2010.
Nissan is a world-leading expert in the design and manufacture of exciting all-electric vehicles. With more than 500,000 Nissan LEAF vehicles sold since the model debuted in 2010, Nissan made use of its existing EV experience to develop its Formula E race car.
In turn, the lessons learned on the racetrack help shape the next generations of EVs from the Japanese car maker, with the stylish, high-performance Ariya all-electric crossover SUV which launched in 2021.
With three Team Championship titles, e.dams is the most successful team in Formula E. The team has gained a wealth of all-electric racing experience competing since the series’ inception.
The e.dams race team was established in 2014 to compete in Formula E by Jean-Paul Driot, founder of DAMS. Partnering with four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost and Renault to create Renault e.dams, the outfit claimed three teams’ titles as well as one drivers’ title with Sébastien Buemi in the 2015/16 season.
Nissan became a partner and shareholder of e.dams in 2018 at the start of the fifth season to create Nissan e.dams. In their first season together, they claimed six podiums, five pole positions and an inaugural victory in New York with Buemi.
In Formula E’s sixth season, Nissan e.dams added a further pole and five podiums while driver Oliver Rowland took his first Formula E win at the penultimate round in Berlin.
For the current season of the series (Season 8), Buemi races alongside new teammate Maximilian Günther.