Richard Branson, the billionaire behind the Virgin brand, has put the multinational company’s seal of approval on race cars before, but he’s never ventured into road cars. Could this be changing soon?
Virgin Racing is one of the teams competing in the all-electric Formula E race series, which ran its most recent Gran Prix in Miami, where Branson was in attendance.
Bloomberg asked Branson if there was any intentions behind this latest racing endeavor outside of just sport. “You never know—you may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business. We will see what happens,” Branson replied.
It’s an interesting comment since Branson and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are both similarly taking on commercial space ventures, both succeeding in areas many find to be extremely risky. Coupled with the fact that non-automaker Apple is now rumored to be making a car to some extent, its possible that “Virgin Electric” might emerge as a competitor.
Before sponsoring a Formula E team, Virgin was briefly involved in Formula 1, racing for two seasons before Marussia became the title sponsor.
Virgin’s Formula E team, fronted by racers Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari, have so far claimed victory at one of the inaugural season’s races and have been on the podium twice out of the five gran prix that have taken place so far.