Formula E could become a multi-manufacturer series in its debut season after British mnufacturer Bluebird announced it is building a car to be launched in time for 2014.
While Formula E was expected to be a one-make series, with cars built by Dallara, Bluebird said it has been encouraged by the FIA to keep developing its own machine. But the company, best known for the machines that set many land and water speed records during the last century, said the ruling body could grant approval for a multi-manufacturer championship when it kicks off next year.
While it would run its own team, it is also hoping to produce up to 16 cars for customer use 2014 and is already in discussions with two potential teams. The first car is expected to be ready in September.
"Bluebird is renowned for supporting new technology and has done so across the whole of its 100-year history," said project director Martin Rees. "We see the opportunity to apply our significant knowledge and experience in electric technology directly into Formula E and it makes sense for the Bluebird name to use its own technology, rather than anyone else's.
"Bluebird offers an alternative to the current manufacturing option which we hope the FIA will consider at their September World Motor Sport Council meeting."
Bluebird is forming a partnership with GP3 and World Touring Car Championship squad Bamboo Engineering.
"We are looking forward to being associated with the first running of the prototype Bluebird Formula E car later this year and building a strong partnership for the future," said Bamboo chief Richard Coleman. "Formula E fits Bamboo's ambitions that are firmly rooted on the world stage, and it is a great honor to be partnering with such a prestigious name."
Formula E will kick off next season with a championship including 10 races around new city street venues, including Los Angeles. The series is currently slated to start as a one-make Formula, with Dallara, Renault, McLaren and Williams all working with Spark Racing Technology to produce the cars.