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Batteries, plug-ins dominate Frankfurt

September 13, 2013
Every year, automakers of the world fill the Frankfurt International Motor Show with the newest car technology and designs. This year, that means hybrids and full-electric cars are stealing the show, which ends Sept. 22, with a large number of the 70 world-premiere vehicles running on either battery power or hybrid gas-electric systems.
That’s in part a result of increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards spurring technological innovation. The Obama administration set new standards in 2012 requiring fuel economy to reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 for 90 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S.
That standard will require significant market penetration — more than 50 percent — by hybrid-electric and battery-electric vehicles, according to a study by the Center for Automotive Research. That would reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels and reduce the amount of CO2 produced by cars by about 5 percent.
The move toward electric engines comes as U.S. new-car sales rebound, with 1.5 million units sold in August, the highest monthly count in six years.