Electric Cars, Small SUVs Dominate Buzz at Frankfurt Show

Carmakers at the Frankfurt auto show are unveiling the low-emissions vehicles and technology strategies they hope will let them profit from the sweeping changes expected to hit the auto industry in the next few years.

Volkswagen AG showed off a revised version of its electric ID Crozz crossover SUV concept vehicle [pictured above] as it announced a long-term electrification campaign, saying its brands would introduce 80 new electric vehicles by 2025. The company plans to invest 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in upgrading plants, creating two new electric car platforms and training workers.

The company said that depending on market developments it could sell 3 million battery-only vehicles a year in 2025.

Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday unveiled a compact electric vehicle under its EQ sub-brand which showcases its efforts to make connected, electric, shared and autonomous vehicles. The EQA has two electric motors that can give it different driving characteristics depending on which mode the driver chooses. The Stuttgart-based automaker also had the GLC F-Cell, a "pre-production" model of a battery-fuel cell hybrid SUV that can run on hydrogen and emits only water vapor.

BMW AG is showing off the four-door i Vision Dynamics electric concept vehicle to join its i3 and i8 electric models. The company says the i Vision Dynamics can hit 200 kph (124 mph) and accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in a quick 4.0 seconds.

Carmakers are spending heavily to develop and improve electric cars to meet increasingly tough government regulations aimed at limiting air pollution. That is even though current electric models do not enjoy high sales because of limited range, higher price, and a lack of fast-charging stations. Analysts think that as batteries get better and costs come down, electric sales may eventually take off. According to research and analytics firm IHS Markit, battery-only cars were 0.57...

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