As Porsche shows off an electric concept car at the Frankfurt auto show Nissan's CEO and Audi talk to Reuters about how they expect to see significant growth in electric vehicle sales.
Chancellor Angela Merkel officially opens the Frankfurt Motor Show, paying a visit to the BMW stand, which was showcasing its latest electric offerings. The German carmaker is keen on its green models - so too is Merkel Her government is looking at ways to bring a million electric cars onto German roads by the end of the decade. Another company fighting for greener alternatives is Nissan. Unveiling its longer-lasting Leaf, Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn says more companies should be contributing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN AND CEO, RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE, CARLOS GHOSN, SAYING: "What is important is that emissions are getting stricter and stricter and there is no way that we as car manufacturers can meet these levels of emissions without a strong contribution from zero emission cars." The battle for electric has now spread to high-performance cars. With flagships hoping to challenge U.S. pioneer Tesla Motors. Audi unveiled its e-tron quattro sport-utility concept - its first electric model with production in mind. It's expected to have a range of 500km. Porsche too showcased its first-ever battery-powered sports car. But challenges still remain, says EY's Randy Miller. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE LEADER, EY, SAYING: "Clearly the cost is a factor. Usability is still a factor depending on how far you are going to drive the vehicles. It really depends on how you are going to use it that makes it desirable or not desirable." Electric-powered cars haven't had the impact many expected. Sales continue to fall short. But premium brands - as well as luxury ones - are now seeing their potential, and that could drive the technology forward at a faster pace.