BMW has become the second manufacturer to announce it will leave Formula E at the end of the 2020/21 championship season, trailing in the wake of Audi’s shock revelation earlier this week.
The German powerhouse only joined the all-electric series as a full works team back at the start of the first Gen2 season in 2018/19.
Before that, they were strong supporters of the category and has been the sole supplier of the safety car and medical car fleet.
It went on to capture its maiden race win that same season with defending champion Antonio Felix da Costa behind the wheel.
Ahead of the forthcoming season, the team topped the final day of the official pre-season test at Valencia with Maximilian Guenther.
The reasons behind their withdrawal next season highlights a vivid issue with the series – the fact that the vast divide between road-going electric cars and single-seater race cars limits the amount of technological development that can be transferred between the two.
In a brief statement, BMW says they have “essentially exhausted the opportunities” to develop its technologies within Formula E.
“Our journey in Formula E is hitting the home stretch. After seven successful years, BMW Group will end its involvement in the series at the end of the coming season,” a team statement read.
“As a partner from the word go, BMW has been instrumental in the success story of Formula E. However, when it comes to the development of e-drivetrains, BMW Group has essentially exhausted the opportunities for this form of technology transfer in the competitive environment of Formula E.
“As the strategic focus of BMW Group is shifting within the field of e-mobility, we will now concentrate on a model offensive and series production in large quantities with the fifth generation BMW E-drives.”
The future of motorsport for BMW is looking ever more bleak, and is beginning to resemble that of Volkswagen, who this week confirmed it will scrap its motorsport division as it re-evaluates its focus on electric vehicles.
BMW has also recently pulled the pin in its factory manufacturer effort in the DTM following the end of the Class 1 regulations. The German touring car series is now evaluating whether a GT3-spec style of series is the future of the category.