VW, Mercedez-Benz launch electric cars: 'anything Tesla can do, we can do better'
German automakers Volkswagen Group and Daimler on Monday announced ambitious new plans to make long-range electric vehicles in a rapidly intensifying competition with Tesla, General Motors, Nissan and other global auto companies.
Their timing could be just right after years of tepid industry sales for electric cars.
China, hoping to clear up devastating urban smog, this weekend signaled plans to eventually ban gasoline engines, delivering a sharp jolt for battery-powered vehicles despite limited interest so far among consumers worldwide.
The moves also come amid rapidly falling battery prices, which analysts say will quickly make electric cars as affordable as gas vehicles.
Volkswagen, the world's largest car company, said at the Frankfurt auto show in Germany that it expects to sell up to 3 million battery-powered cars by 2025, representing about a quarter of its vehicles.
The company also Monday showed off a newly designed electric sport-utility vehicle called the I.D. Crozz that will arrive in 2020, along with a compact hatchback electric car called the I.D.
With a battery range of about 310 to 370 miles (based on European regulatory standards, which are higher than U.S. range), the I.D. vehicles will be among the longest-range affordable electric vehicles.
And Daimler luxury brand Mercedes-Benz said it would make an electric model of all of its vehicles by 2022.