Swiss electric car maker Piëch Automotive hires former VW CEO

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Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller speaks at the annual earnings news conference of VW in Berlin in Berlin
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller speaks at the annual earnings news conference of VW in Berlin in Berlin

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Swiss electric car start-up Piëch Automotive AG appointed Matthias Mueller, the former chief executive of Porsche and Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE>, as its new chairman, the company said on Monday.

Founded by Anton Piëch, son of ex VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch, the Switzerland-based company is preparing to raise funds to launch an electric two-seater sports car equipped with batteries that charge to 80% capacity in under 5 minutes.

"I was immediately enthusiastic about the mission of the two founders, because it is more compelling and more visionary than all the new approaches I have encountered during my work in the automotive industry," Mueller said.

The electric sportscar will have a range of up to 500 kilometres (311 miles), and the first planned vehicle concept will be available to buy at the end of 2022.

The Zurich-based company also hired Jochen Rudat, a former Tesla executive, as head of sales.

Among the company's early-stage investors is Peter Thiel, the carmaker said. Swiss bank UBS will leading the next funding round, Piëch Automotive said.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by Louise Heavens)