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Electric race car officially unveiled by New Formula E championship series

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 01:36

Jan.7-New car designed to dispel idea that electric cars can't match the speed of conventional vehicles. Jennifer Davis reports.

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If you think an electric car won't have the speed of one powered by gasoline - the new FIA Formula E electric race car may change your mind. The fully electric race car made its debut Monday, taking a high speed spin on the Las Vegas Strip near the Mandalay Bay Resort without any exhaust pouring into the crowd of spectators. (SOUNDBITE) ALEJANDRO AGAG, CEO OF FORMULA E, SAYING: "Formula E wants to have more electric cars in cities around the world. We want to promote electric cars, to change the perception of electric cars, and to show them racing. We think it's going to change that perception." The race car can go more than 150 mph, and the former Formula 1 driver behind the wheel during this demo, says it drives impressively. (SOUNDBITE) LUCAS DI GRASSI, FORMER FORMULA 1 DRIVER & FORMULA E AMBASSADOR, SAYING: "Even if the horsepower is not as high as a combustion car, it is much more precise." The car will be part of the new championship for electric cars set to begin in September and involve races around the globe in places like Los Angeles, Beijing and London. Drivers will have to switch cars during the one-hour races so their batteries, which last up to 25 minutes, can recharge (SOUNDBITE) ALEJANDRO AGAG, CEO OF FORMULA E, SAYING: "You need a battery that can get the energy out in a very short period of time. That's very challenging, technology-wise. We were able to produce this battery, and advancing batteries will be the ones that will trickle down to road cars." Last month, actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced he will be co-founding a team in the environmentally friendly championship.

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Electric race car officially unveiled by New Formula E championship series

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 01:36