Electric, Hybrid Cars Dominate BMW, Opel And Mercedes Presentations At Frankfurt Car Show

Category: Auto / Sep 10, 2013 3:37PM EDT

Faced with tougher European regulations on pollution, but a constant desire among affluent drivers for speed and panache, many carmakers have reached the same solution: luxury hybrids.

Pricy new models are heading for production from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, among others, - some with gasoline engines, some with diesels, but all with electric motors and battery packs.

While they may not have as much of an impact on energy consumption and clean air as smaller, more efficient hybrids and pure electric cars such as the BMW i3, the new high-performance hybrids could represent a clever compromise between the demands of regulators and speed junkies.

On top of existing rules aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions for all new cars in the European Union by 2015, the 28-country bloc is working on stricter targets for 2020.

That makes luxury hybrids of critical importance for premium carmakers.

But there are also risks. Carmakers will need to convince drivers that hybrid engines perform at least as well as the traditional gasoline and petrol varieties.

And they will still have to apply electrification to their larger luxury sedans and sports cars in order to meet the stricter emissions rules.

Video Credit: Reuters