Nissan Electrifies Its Motorsports Effort With Help From Margot Robbie
Nissan utilizes technology developed in its popular Leaf EV to compete against major manufacturers on the world stage.
In the history of racing, the technology developed on the track has typically been used to improve the performance and reliability of a brand’s street cars. But in the modern world of Formula E, most participating manufacturers are using the advancements that power their electric consumer vehicles to give them an edge on the track. Nissan is no stranger to electrification, arriving early to the EV market with the original Nissan Leaf in 2010. Since then, the brand has become an industry leader in advancing electric propulsion and today’s debut represented a continued effort to support that growth.
According to Ana Paola Reginatto, Nissan’s Head of Electric Vehicle Products for Nissan Europe, becoming the first Japanese automaker to embrace Formula E and the continued movement towards electrification is a critical step, not simply for the brand, but for the future of the general public. She explained, “either we go on doing the things we have always done, and you disappear, or you embrace electrification and you enjoy a longer, cleaner, and better future.”
In a cyclical fashion, the consumer EV tech that is being channeled into the Formula E motorsports team will eventually be used to further advance the range, reliability, and performance of the Nissan street cars. Michael Carcamo, Nissan’s Global Motorsports Director, mentioned that the Formula E cars for the 2018 – 2019 season will have enough range to compete in an entire race without swapping cars as they had in the past. These types of improvements have come from pushing electric technology in Formula E’s first four seasons. Nissan feels it is now the perfect time to jump into the series as a development platform and be a part of pushing the limits.
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When asked if electric performance from the racing program will eventually make it into Nissan performance cars like the Nissan GT-R, Carcamo mentioned that “what they’re learning [in Formula E] will enhance the performance of every vehicle that [Nissan] makes” and that racing “stresses the system” to test the extremes of what can be done, beyond anything you might experience on the street. We’ll take that as a roundabout way of say “maybe” and have to imagine that an electric performance car is not far off for the Nissan brand.
To help make the all-electric Nissan Formula E car even more electrifying, the brand solicited the help of actress Margot Robbie. Robbie acts as Nissan’s Electric Vehicles and Sustainability Ambassador and has been an owner and proponent of the Nissan Leaf EV for years. Although prior to owning a Leaf she had normally driven a “stick shift,” Robbie enjoyed her early experience driving the EV and truly believes in Nissan’s efforts towards a sustainable future.
Check out the full video below of the unveiling to hear more about Nissan’s plans for Formula E or to simply marvel at Margot Robbie.