FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen is rolling out what it bills as the breakthrough electric car for the masses, the leading edge of a wave of new battery-powered vehicles about to hit the European auto market. The cars are the result of massive investments in battery technology and new factories driven by environmental regulation and concerns about global warming.
But it’s not at all clear whether consumers are ready to buy them. Electric cars remain a niche product with less than 2% of the market due to higher prices and worries about a lack of places to charge. It adds up to a huge gamble for the companies, who will show off their latest electric offerings at this year’s Frankfurt auto show.