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Formula E CEO: 'We are witnessing the electric revolution in the motor industry'

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

Formula E, the all-electric car-race series, first launched in 2014 and is quickly growing its roster of auto manufacturers that want to be involved.

The latest addition is BMW, which has signed on to build a powertrain, to be used by the Andretti team in time for Formula E’s fifth season, which will start in the fall of 2018. The series is currently wrapping up its third season; the second-to-last event is happening in New York City on July 15.

The other car brands on board with Formula E include Audi, Citroen, Jaguar and Renault.

Richard Branson in a Formula E car in New York City on July 14, 2017. (AP)

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag says it’s no surprise that the series is attracting more and more brands just as the car industry is embracing electric.

“Things have gone in our direction,” Agag tells Yahoo Finance. “When we started five years ago with the idea of this project, the world was not as it is today. The whole motor industry is going to go through a revolution. In 20 years, 30 years, probably we will only see electric cars. We are witnessing the electric revolution in the motor industry.”

Indeed, earlier this month France announced it would ban the sale of all combustion-engine cars in its country beginning in 2040. And last week, Volvo announced it would only make electric or hybrid cars, beginning in 2019.

Now the forward-thinking car makers, Agag reasons, are “coming to Formula E as the platform to market their electric cars.”

Formula E’s season includes 12 outdoor races in cities across the world, like Berlin, Paris, Marrakesh, and Montreal, and has 10 teams; it will expand to 14 races and 12 teams next season. The actor Leonardo DiCaprio chairs Formula E’s sustainability committee, and Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson, who owns the DS Virgin Racing team, believes the series will be more popular than Formula 1 by 2020.

Daniel Roberts is the sports business writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite

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