LAS VEGAS - The first Formula E car -- part of an upcoming motor racing competition to put electric vehicles on the map -- made its dazzling debut on Monday in Las Vegas.
The sleek Spark-Renault SRT-01E, capable of speeds above 225 kilometers (150 miles) per hour, will compete in the first Formula E Championship that begins in Beijing in September, part of 10 races sponsored by the FIA, the global governing body for motor racing.
"The Formula E is the future of the automobile, I think this will change the perception of electric vehicles," said Paul Jacobs, chief executive of Qualcomm, one of the corporate sponsors.
Formula E will have 10 teams, each with two drivers.
Brazilian driver Lucas di Grassi showed off the vehicle at a parking lot, demonstrating to spectators and media the capabilities of the fully electric machine.
"It's a different feeling from anything else," di Grassi told reporters, saying that "you have to be more precise... but it is more efficient."
Formula E chief Alejandro Agag said he hopes the championship will stimulate investment in electric vehicles and change their image.
"Formula E is a championship with a mission," he said.
"Electric cars have been perceived as slow... we want more consumers to get an electric car."
Jacobs said the investment from Qualcomm is part of the company's mission in getting more "connected devices" and improving technology in many sectors.
Qualcomm is working with automakers to get more connectivity for vehicle navigation, convenience and other functions, and has a long-term project seeking ways to wirelessly charge electric vehicles, possible through embedded devices in highways.
The Formula E car was on show as the Consumer Electronics Show got under way in Las Vegas.
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