The Formulec EF 01 prototype will provide the basis for the electric race cars that will compete in the Formula E series (Photo:  Formulec)

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has reached agreement with investors and carmakers to launch a "Formula E" championship series featuring only electric vehicles.

FIA said in a press release that the series, which will hold trials in 2013 and officially kick off in 2014, "represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades."

Rio de Janeiro is set to become the first city to host the electric vehicle race in 2014.

The federation stated as its objective to have 10 teams and 20 drivers participating in the competition.

Burkhard Goeschel, the Magna International executive who spearheaded the drive for an electric-vehicle race, said Formula E "follows the global megatrends of our world like sustainability, the growth of the megacities and the digital world of connectivity."

The series will be open to cars sanctioned by FIA as Formula E. The race car will be based on the Formulec EF 01 prototype already built.

FIA has licensed the commercial rights of the series to a consortium of international investors, Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH). FEH CEO Alejandro Agag said he expected the series to "become the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities."