18 May 2011
The German government has approved more money to help companies that build electric cars. There are only around 2,500 electric vehicles registered on German roads at present. The plan is to increase this figure to a million by 2020.
Click to hear the report:
Germany plans to double financial aid, particularly to develop better, lighter batteries, which remain the brake on the technology's mass appeal. Cars which emit virtually no carbon dioxide will be exempt from tax.
Despite its green reputation, Germany has been slower than other countries, like Japan, to develop electric cars.
It now aims to change this, but attitudes may be hard to change. It is a country where 'no speed limits on the motorway' is seen as sacrosanct.
And it is the country of the BMW (car), though the luxury car-maker is now trying to develop lighter materials to make its vehicles greener.
Stephen Evans, BBC News, Berlin
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- financial aid
help by giving money
- the brake on
the drawback or negative aspect of
- mass appeal
lets out or sends out
not required to do something
- green reputation
known for its commitment to environmentally-friendly policies
- to develop
to design and manufacture
- speed limits
maximum speeds at which you are allowed to or can legally drive on different roads
considered so important that it cannot be changed
equipment and substances which are used to make things