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PHOTO CAPTION: Illustration of cabin area of Audi Urban Concept electric car designed to match EV technology to economic realities.

Electric Cars Remain a Distant Prospect, Says Der Spiegel

Given the challenges facing electric vehicles, automakers are searching for their economic sweet spot.

Published: 18-Sep-2011

There will be a new type of racing car soon. It's supposed to look something like a Formula 1 car and drive just as fast -- but with an engine that makes no noise.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has announced that a new racing championship series is being developed for the circuit that could ideologically decontaminate the racing world. The plan envisions having automobiles with 700 horsepower electric engines zooming about with absolutely no emissions.

The vision of a green Grand Prix is exactly the kind of message that the 64th International Motor Show (IAA) wants to send. The show, which kicks off this Thursday in Frankfurt, is the industry's premier trade fair, held in the land where the revolution of motorized vehicles once made legends out of names like Daimler and Benz. With this pedigree, the IAA is meant to provide an overview both of where things are and where they're going. And the direction has rarely seemed so clear-cut: The German government and the domestic automotive industry are both set on transforming Germany into the "lead market for electromobility."

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