'Electric', key word at Frankfurt Motor Show 2017

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-13 10:01

'Electric', key word at Frankfurt Motor Show 2017

Visitors look at the Mercedes-AMG Project One 759 horsepower car at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany, Sept 12, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

FRANKFURT - Worldwide carmakers unveiled new models of electric cars at Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) 2017, making "electric" the key word for the grand event.

Theming "Future now", the IAA started the press days on Tuesday. Nearly 1,000 companies came to Frankfurt from all over the world with new car models, breaking-through technologies and innovations.

The international big gathering of automotive industrial companies took place at a time when the so-called "diesel gate" put reputation of world-leading German carmakers in question, talks against fuel vehicles got heated, and European countries including the Netherlands, France and Britain announced plans for banning fuel cars, respectively.

"This IAA stands for a fundamental paradigm shift that is currently taking place in the companies -- both in products and in production." said Matthias Wissmann, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

He emphasized that IAA stands for "Future now". "The cars of the future will be automated, connected and emission-free." he added.

At IAA, 228 new products were launched and 363 innovations were unveiled, hitting record-high. Among all the new products and technologies, electric was no doubt the key element.

Audi has unveiled its "aicon" concept car at IAA -- an all-electric luxury vehicle that can travel up to 800 kilometers (500 miles) on a single charge.

Volkswagen, the biggest carmaker in Germany, not only unveiled electric SUV concept vehicle at the show, but also announced a long-term electrification plan. VW plans to invest 20 billion euros ($24 billion)in upgrading plants, creating two new electric car platforms and is determined to introduce 80 new electric vehicles by 2025. VW is hoping it could sell 3 million electric cars per year in 2025.

"I should say, electric cars are the future of the industry and also the most heated topic at this show, " said Frank Fischer, a battery expert of Daimler's electric solution company of Accumotive.

Daimler showcased its latest F1-derived creation, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, whose powertrain is a plug-in hybrid drive system. Its new brand of electric mobility EQ also showed at IAA and will be launched in 2019, and its most important target market is China.

In the megatrend of automotive industry to electric cars, China plays a leading role both as a huge sales market and as a dominant producer.

According to statistics, China has produced and consumed 500,000 electric cars in 2016, making 50 percent of the world market shares.

At IAA 2017, Chinese carmakers also unveiled their own new electric models. Chery launched its hybrid car models of EXEED TX SUV. And Great Wall showcased its new WEY hybrid models.

Chinese battery companies also showed their strong competitiveness in the global electric games. CATL, a worldwide leading battery supplier from China's Fujian province, received large amount of visitors on the first press day in Frankfurt.

"We are the first Chinese battery company that supplies to the global industry chain. " said Zeng Yuqun, founder of CATL, "we have our unique competitive advantages as a Chinese company since we started earlier than the western peers."

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