DS Performance has registered to become an official Formula E powertrain manufacturer in its own right from the 2018/19 season, Motorsport.com can reveal.
The French brand comes under the PSA Group of companies that includes Peugeot and Citroen, and entered Formula E as a partner and entrant with the Virgin Racing team in 2015.
Its submission to be a manufacturer in its own right for season five is expected to be confirmed by the FIA next month.
DS Performance director Xavier Mestelan Pinon told Motorsport.com: “For season five we have taken the decision to apply to be an official manufacturer in Formula E. We are waiting for the FIA to confirm this, but we expect it soon.
“We want to be a manufacturer for seasons five, six and seven. For us it will be a big difference, because at present we cannot take decisions alone because our partners Virgin Racing take the decisions at present.
"This is important for us because the brand is young and just started two years ago in a sporting way. Becoming a manufacturer also shows our belief in Formula E as a championship and that it will grow more and more.”
Currently, DS Performance is not a registered manufacturer with the FIA, as Virgin Racing holds the licence as a team and manufacturer until season five. Essentially, DS works as a supplier to Virgin Racing, but it is DS Performance that sits on the Formula E Technical Working Group.
Should it be accepted by the FIA, DS Performance will be allowed to supply other teams with its powertrain for the 2018-19 season onwards.
DS kicks off season four testing
DS Virgin Racing has already track-tested elements of its season four powertrain, joining rivals Renault e.dams and Jaguar Racing in running new season parts.
The Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport team is set to begin its testing imminently, while Mahindra will begin its running in Spain next Monday.
DS says it is awaiting the final parts of its powertrain design to test the whole unit, which it expects to do the week after the Mexico City ePrix on April 1.
“We have already made a test but for us the main target is the next race in Mexico,” added Mestelan Pinon. “Then after that we will run again, but honestly the main challenge is season five.
"We plan to spend more time on season five rather than season four at this point. It is possible for our capabilities to work on both season four and season five at the same time which will be very important.”