Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

LA Auto Show: While Detroit hits the gas pedal, Europeans embrace electrification

LA Auto Show: While Detroit hits the gas pedal, Europeans embrace electrification

Petroleum products still power nearly all the cars driving the world’s highways, minus a nano-point or two for the rare alternative-fuel vehicle. But something new is stirring. Call it elektrifizierung.

That’s German for electrification. While big American companies — and to a large extent, the Koreans and the Japanese — keep their electric efforts low-key, European carmakers, led by the German Big Three, are aggressively dramatizing their strategic shift toward electrified powertrains at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Visitors who walk past BMW’s exhibit encounter a huge sign declaring that transition and a promise of 25 electrified models by 2025. The company’s most...

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