The world's first electric powerboat competition has been launched ©E1

The world's first electric powerboat competition, which aims to support the preservation of the marine environment, was launched at the Monaco Yacht Club.

The series is the brainchild of International Powerboating Union (UIM) President Raffaele Chiulli, Formula E and Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag, and Rodi Basso, the former director of motorsport at McLaren.

It was due to be launched on a live stream but a technical hitch meant this was unable to take place.

During the new UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series, high-performance racing boats powered entirely by electric propulsion systems are set to race on short courses at locations around the world. 

The boats are being developed by SeaBird Technologies, a start-up based in the United Kingdom that will partner with other companies involved in high-performance water vessels to produce a fast and light, largely one-design race boat.

Competition will feature up to 12 teams and they will each purchase two boats - one based in Europe and one that will be stored on the St Helena, a ship to be used as a "floating paddock" for races outside Europe.

Pilots for the inaugural E1 Series are expected to come from a range of backgrounds, with some from existing powerboating events and others making a transition from road-vehicle electric technology to the water.

Each E1 race weekend will comprise testing and qualifying, followed by a series of knockout races.

An annual overall world champion will be decided by cumulative scores throughout the season.

Unlimited charging will be allowed for testing and qualifying each weekend, but a finite supply will be available for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

Chiulli, who is also the Global Association of International Sport Federations President, said he was "excited" to have the opportunity to licence the event.  

"As the International Olympic Committee recognised world governing body for all powerboating activities, we at UIM are excited to have this opportunity to support and foster the preservation of the marine environment and to establish and implement good practices towards a more sustainable future," he said.

"The UIM is delighted to support scientific research and its dissemination, as this will support awareness-raising activities on the many environmental and climate specific challenges that the world faces today. 

"The launch of this initiative signals the UIM’s ability to lead by example, and to take action to preserve a healthy marine environment, which is vital for the future of our planet.  

"We are proud to partner with Agag, Basso and E1, and I am confident that this initiative, alongside Extreme E, will accelerate sustainable mobility at global level."

UIM President Raffaele Chiulli claimed the launch of the Series showed his organisation's
UIM President Raffaele Chiulli claimed the launch of the Series showed his organisation's "ability to lead by example" ©UIM

Agag is set to become non-executive chairman of the new venture, while Basso will take the chief executive role.

"I am delighted that we are today able to announce this unique step forward in marine-based sport," Agag said. 

"We believe this series will engage not only the sporting public, and boating and tech enthusiasts around the world, but also ocean conservationists who care about the future of our planet. 

"The earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers are under huge environmental pressure and the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series will lead the way in electrifying water mobility for future generations." 

The UIM E1 World Electric Powerboat Series is set to develop on a "tight timescale" which features "an intense testing and build schedule for the new boats".