Hey GM Where’s Your Formula E Team? by Michael Accardi September 7, 2016 Share Comments With Audi announcing it intends to fund a factory backed team in the budding single seat series, it leaves us wondering if GM should consider a trip to the ePrix too? Since the series’ inauguration, Audi has made factory driver Lucas di Grassi available to ABT Schaeffler, but now Audi has further committed to the series by increasing its involvement–forming the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport Formula E team for the 2016-2017 season. Audi joins the factory teams of Renault, Jaguar, Mahindra and Faraday Future; in addition’ Citroen’s DS brand has tied themselves to Virgin Racing with a technical partnership. Furthermore, both Nissan and BMW have expressed interest in electric racing, with Nissan even going so far as to undertake a “fact-finding” mission into the series–with sister Renault already involved we could see an LMP1 style Porsche vs Audi rivalry. Granted, BMW has said it’s not interested in entering the series until drivers can finish the races without having to swap vehicles; in fact, the series itself has curbed open chassis and battery development until the one make series reaches that point. “We do know we’re seriously considered by a number of manufacturers on top of the ones we have,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag told Autosport. “The changing roadmap is fine for them, but the key is cost control. “I don’t like to be too excessively positive, but I think we’ve created a cool place to be for OEMs. “The ones that are in are really happy. The partners we have, they are all renewing and extending their contracts and nobody is leaving.” However one of the largest obstacles standing in the way of the General getting itself involved would be branding. To be frank GM’s global branding is a fragmented mess, aside from Cadillac–if you stretch the definition of global– GM doesn’t have a single brand with a total international presence. Chevrolet is the GM brand leading the charge with Voltec technology, but with Formula E being a predominately European affair and Chevy possessing little to no brand cache in Europe–besides the Corvette– it would be a poor return on branded investment. Opel would be a much better fit, but would the Renn Center allow Opel to become the face of their electric racing efforts when it has barely been involved in electric product development? Regardless, we’re not likely to see major interest from GM until it’s allowed to provide proprietary powertrain technology; but with the Bolt EV scheduled for an on-sale date of later this year it would be a great way to showcase and hone consumer technology in the crucible of competition.