What is surprising is that the automaker announced that it will leave Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or DTM, in order to accommodate competing in Formula E. DTM is not a very well-known division of motorsports in the United States, but Mercedes-Benz was far and away the most dominant manufacturer in both its current and former incarnations.
Jens Thiemer, Vice President of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, said: "Formula E is a significant step in order to demonstrate the performance of our attractive battery powered electric vehicles, as well as giving an emotional spin to our EQ technology brand through motorsport and marketing". "We owe that to our fans and to ourselves".
Despite being well established in DTM, Wolff said: "Formula E is like an exciting start-up venture - it offers a brand new format, combining racing with a strong event character". New era saw the likes of Pascal Wehrlein win the championship in 2015, the youngest DTM driver to win the championship.
Speaking about the decision to enter Formula E, vice president of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, Dr Jens Thiemer, said it will act as the flawless step before launching its fleet of all-electric vehicles.
It's unclear if this change of direction will cause Mercedes to reduce its F1 commitment moving forward, as Wolff previously has said the company's future in the sport is "uncertain" beyond 2020. However, Mercedes and HWA could enter the series early through a partnership with the existing Venturi Formula E team.
"I am pleased that we were able to extend our entry option for one year to the 2019/20 season".
The decision to abandon the touring auto series for the FIA-sanctioned all-electric single-seater championship is both to promote its new electric vehicle sub-brand, EQ, as well as develop the technology for those products. "This gives us time to properly understand the series and to prepare for our entry in the right way".
FE Founder Alejandro Agag praised Mercedes' decision to join FE by saying: "This shows how much the world is changing, not only in motorsport, but the whole automotive industy". Like any other form of motorsport, the experience gained from Formula E will be reflected on their respective road cars, now and in future. We're witnessing a transformation that will first change our cities, and then our roads.
Under this season's Formula E regulations, the teams can develop their own powertrains, including Motor Generator Units and gearboxes.