Audi expands Formula E involvement, will field full works team for 2017

It's hoping to recreate its Le Mans success in the all-electric racing series.

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Audi is ramping up its investment in all-electric racing series Formula E as its passenger-vehicle aspirations grow to include electrification.

Audi's been involved in the race for the last two seasons, coming close to winning the championship with Team ABT Schaeffler. Now it's expanding its partnership with the team for the 2016/17 season while gearing up to create its own factory works effort.

The team will be working on Audi's first factory single-seat program. The company was previously rumored to be interested in Formula 1, which currently runs gas-electric hybrids.

"By 2025, every fourth Audi should be an electric vehicle," said Dr. Stefan Knirsch, a member of Audi's board of management, in a statement. "In the light of these plans, adapting our motorsport program and taking up a commitment in a fully electric racing series is only a logical move."

The first step, a greater partnership with its current team, means the Formula E outfit will receive additional technical and financial benefit from the German mothership. It also means the car will feature Audi's four rings more prominently. The current team will then be folded into a full-on works effort in the following season.

Audi isn't the first automaker to get heavily involved in this all-electric racing series. Jaguar is also using Formula E to mark its return to motorsport, and other automakers getting in on the fun include Renault, Mahindra and Faraday Future. Andretti Motorsport is said to be working with BMW on the engineering side of things, as well.

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