Manufacturers are making more alternative-fuel vehicles

Car manufacturers are bringing out increasing numbers of alternative-fuel cars.

Despite little evidence of increased sales in electric and hybrid vehicles, companies such as Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes are producing electric versions of existing vehicles.  The latest trend was particularly evident at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, with some manufacturers revealing desings for electric cars with no previous petrol/diesel version, such as BMW with its i3.

BMW i3

BMW's electric i3 concept car Image:BMW

Manufacturers are also targeting the high-performance, luxury end of the market with their alternative-fuel options.

Changing government requirements on emissions, particularly in heavily polluted China, may be the motivation behind the new electric/hybrid manufacturing drive.  However, only 0.2 percent of all cars registered in Europe are currently hybrids.

Manufacturers are struggling with sales due to high prices and buyers worrying about running out of power during their journey.

High pricing of alternative-fuel vehicles are rooted in expensive batteries and the need to create extra manufacturing plant capacity and parts design. Volkswagen's multi-platform manufacturing system may be a way to reduce manufacturing costs with the same assembly line being used to produce multiple vehicles.