European car bosses gathering for the Frankfurt auto show are beginning to address the realities of mass vehicle electrification, and its consequences for jobs and profit, their minds focused by government pledges to outlaw the combustion engine. Laura Frykberg reports
For these Greenpeace protesters... Outside the Frankfurt auto show... The industry's move to cleaner cars... Needs to up a gear. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GREENPEACE ENERGY EXPERT, ANDREE BOEHLING, SAYING: "They're starting to understand they need to move to electromobility, but it's happening far too slowly. It's completely incompatible with climate protection." Carmakers though, Says they're picking up the pace as fast as they can. BMW unveiling twelve new cleaner engined models.. Mercedes and troubled Volkswagen following suit. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VW CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MATTHIAS MUELLER, SAYING: "The debate about driving bans in inner cities, the future of the diesel car, about electric mobility, it all shows that the times when our industry patted itself on the shoulder are over. Business as usual is no longer enough." But the business of going green isn't cheap. Mercedes owner Daimler says electric models will earn it less. It's putting aside billions of euros to do so.. which could threaten German jobs. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BANKHAUS METZLER ANALYST, JUERGEN PIEPER, SAYING: "The big carmakers have heard the warning shots. The pressure has become enormous. The pressure comes from Tesla, the pressure comes from the diesel scandal. They are forces to go in this direction.." Volkswagen is also seeking new suppliers to source.. electric car content including batteries.. Which are not competitively sold in Europe. But with government's increasingly pledging to ban traditional diesel and gas cars... That latest...to make noise China.. There's no turning back now.