Reigning Formula One world champion Mercedes-Benz GP has taken up an option on an entry to the 2018-19 Formula E season.
The news comes after fellow German marques Audi and BMW both announced future Formula E programmes of their own, in conjunction with ABT Schaeffler and Andretti respectively, as part of their growing commitment to hybrid electric vehicles.
Mercedes’ own foray into electric cars is set to begin in December, with the unveiling of their first ever electric SUV at the Paris Motor Show.
Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “We have been watching the growth of Formula E with great interest…and we are very pleased with an agreement that secures us an opportunity to enter the series in season five.
“Electrification will play a major role in the future of the automotive industry – racing has always been a technology R&D platform for the motor industry, and this will make Formula E very relevant in the future.”
Alejandro Agag added that Mercedes would be a “major boost” to Formula E’s “exciting mix of consolidated manufacturers like Renault, Citroen-DS, Audi, Mahindra [and] Jaguar.”
The 2018-19 Formula E season was already set to receive a great deal of interest from manufacturers, with the move from two cars per driver to single cars that can last a race distance creating a logistical opening for another two entries on the grid.
James Matthews, Formula E editor