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Germany’s Merkel sticks to 1m electric cars target despite setbacks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) stands next to an electrically powered car by Continental AG, as Elmar Degenhart, CEO of Germany’s Continental AG (centre) and Saxony’s Federal State Premier Stanislaw Tillich watch, during her visit of the the production site in Limbach-Oberfrohna on March, 11, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel has reaffirmed her target to bring one million electric cars onto German roads by the end of the decade, despite weak interest from consumers. — FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has reaffirmed her target to bring one million electric cars onto German roads by the end of the decade, despite weak interest from consumers.

Her government is hosting a two-day industry summit in Berlin to promote the fledgling technology, after fewer than 3,000 electric cars were sold in Germany last year out of a total market that exceeded 3 million.

The German auto industry plans to invest roughly 12 billion euros (S$19.6 billion) in alternative powertrains, including battery-powered electric cars, in the next to four years, according to industry association VDA.

“Driving electrically is no vision anymore, it’s a reality. Thousands of cars are already on our roads and by the end of the next year, German carmakers will have at least 16 electric series production cars on sale,” said VDA President Matthias Wissmann.

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