Renault’s CEO has pledged to increase the car-maker’s involvement in the Formula E series after its team won the inaugural season of the all-electric championship.
Speaking after the final race of the season that took place in London’s Battersea Park on Sunday, Renault’s CEO Carlos Ghosn reassured media about the manufacturer’s commitment to the electric car racing business.
"We want to continue to promote zero emission and electric cars, so there is no way you are going to see us less involved in Formula E,” he said.
"Everything we are seeing in Formula E is encouraging us to continue and invest more and be more present."
Participation in Formula E makes sense for Renault and its partner Nissan, which currently dominates the zero-emission vehicle market. Last week, the two firms announced they had reached a milestone of 250,000 electric vehicles sold worldwide.
"We are encouraged by the acceleration of the growth of EV sales globally," Ghosn commented. "In Europe, Renault's EV sales were up 72 per cent in May 2015 versus May 2014, supported by strong government incentives, particularly in France."
The e.dams Renault team won the team title in the debut season of the all-electric championship, while Brazilian Nelson Piquet Junior racing for Chinese team Nextev has been crowned the overall champion with only a one-point difference from the runner-up Sebastien Buemi.
Renault’s French car-making rival Citroen DS said it will join the Formula E project by partnering with Richard Branson’s Virgin team.
Branson told reporters on Saturday that Formula E would overtake Formula One in popularity within five years, a suggestion played down by others involved including Ghosn.
"I think there's still going to be room for Formula One for another few more years," said Branson. "But there will come a time when Formula E will overtake Formula One.”
He added that he believed battery-powered transport will dominated the roads in about 20 years: "The future is going to be fascinating and I'm taking my pills so I can live to see it".
"I personally think things are going to move that rapidly now. What goes on in a petrol-driven engine is really complicated and antiquated and out of date and polluting," he concluded.