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Last updated at 18:33 BST, Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Germany to invest in more electric cars


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.

Stephen Evans

Germany's Economy Minister Philipp Roesler poses in an electric car

Germany's Economy Minister Philipp Roesler poses in an electric car


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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


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financial aid

help by giving money

the brake on

the drawback or negative aspect of

mass appeal

widespread popularity


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

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