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It's a battle of tradition versus the new school, as Germany's Auto Bild stages a drag race between the BMW M4 and the i8. On paper, it looks to be a close race, but check out the video to see how it actually goes down.

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Take a tour of the Porsche 911 engine factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany, as the company's flat-six mills are made in this video. The place is hypnotic in its efficiency to watch each part slowly come together to create these famously fantastic mills. Hardly any noise rises above the hum of the assembly line.

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This month, Audi said it will boost spending by two billion euros ($2.5B US) over the next five years, for a total outlay of 24 billion euros from 2014 to 2019. Something like 70 percent of those billions will be spent on new models, technology like "connectivity and lightweight construction," and factory expansion at its plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

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With neighbor France reconsidering support for diesel vehicles, Germany is also staking its claim in an electric-powered automotive future. This isn't news – Chancellor Angela Merkel has been promoting the idea of a million EVs on German streets by 2020 despite slow sales for a while now and VW is sort of on board – but there will need to be some work done to make it happen. Only about 24,000 EVs have been sold in Germany.

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Mitsubishi likes what it's seen from plug-in hybrid sales of its Outlander SUV in Europe. Now, it looks like the Japanese automaker will go back to that proverbial well within the next few years. And, once again, SUVs will be the medium.

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Elon Musk Wins Eurostar Award; GreenTech Automotive Secures $47 Million In Funding

A new electric motor with integrated air-conditioning compressor increases the range of EVs in hot climates, where much of the battery power is used to keep the car cool. Developed by scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the German Aerospace Centre, the "2-in-1" motor uses regenerative braking to help operate the AC compressor, and could increase range by 15 to 20 percent with some modifications. "By integrating the refrigerant compressor directly into the electric mot

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Natural Gas Powers Cars Best When Converted To Electricity First; Gold And Wind Make Electricity

The 2015 Fiat 500e is now available in Oregon. The new 500e features an updated center console, as well as two new exterior colors: Luce Blu (which Fiat describes as light blue with a pearl finish) and Celeste (light blue). The 2015 500e is available for lease in California and Oregon for $199 a month for 36 months, plus $999 down. Fiat offers 500e owners and lessees 12 days of free rental per year through Enterprise in the first three years of ownership for days when the driver needs something

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Thailand To Approve VW Plant; Sky Deutschland To Broadcast Formula E

A new study out of Germany suggests adopting a modular approach to battery offerings in plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles. Automakers could offer the same car with different battery sizes (and different costs, accordingly) to drivers depending on their driving ranges. This would optimize the total cost of ownership for various drivers better than the current approach. Developing a modular battery design and offering appropriate batteries for different customers "is the key for

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The DriveNow carsharing service, which is a partnership between BMW and Sixt, is growing quite rapidly. "We've been surprised about the explosion of new subscriptions, which has helped boost revenue," says Sixt CEO Erich Sixt. The number of DriveNow users has increased from 215,000 at the end of last year to 300,000 today.

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Roger Penske, Rick Hendrick Among First BMW i8 Customers; Uber Ban Lifted In Berlin

Electric automaker Venturi hopes to post a new electric land speed record this week, despite Bonneville Speed Week being cancelled. The VBB-3, developed with Ohio State University, is powered by two 1,500-hp electric motors. If the salt flats are sufficiently dry, the team hopes to set a new electric world speed record of over 600 kilometers per hour (373 mph), and possibly 700 kph (435 mph). The Venturi BB-2.5 set a record of 495 kph (307 mph) in 2010. Read more at Electric Autosport, and keep

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Fraunhofer Institute Says Yes

Imagine a day when charging is as simple as pulling into a parking space. No cords to untangle or trip over, nothing to get your hands and pants dirty and nothing to wrap up when you're already late leaving for work. Just park your car, and forget it. That's the beauty of charging wirelessly through electromagnetic induction. It's still a nascent technology, though - as least when it comes to electric vehicles - and not without its problems.

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Audi A3 E-Tron On Sale In Germany; Tesla Names First Female Board Member

Tesla is looking for an architect to help design its proposed Gigafactory battery manufacturing facility. According to the Palo Alto-based job listing, which is titled "Architect - Gigafactory," the applicant must have, among other qualifications, over five years of experience with "high-tech infrastructure and operational facilities (semiconductor, solar, battery, waste water treatment plants, etc.)." The job also includes being away from home quite a bit, as it the listing states, "This full t

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German manufacturing company Schaeffler ran its own Step2 electric car in the Silvretta E-Car Rally in Austria. The car is a Volkswagen Golf, stripped of its internal combustion guts and equipped with an electric powertrain supplied by one of Schaeffler's subsidiaries. The thing that makes the Step2 a little different, though, is the inclusion of a two-speed transmission.

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Audi has put a price tag on the A3 Sportback E-Tron plug-in hybrid, for which presales begin this month in Germany. To get your hands on one of these little guys, Audi is asking for €37,900, or about $51,537 according to current exchange rates. Of course, the base MSRP doesn't include any incentives, but in Germany, those savings would come from certain annual tax exemptions that apply to PHEVs. Buyers in other countries might have more luck in getting into an A3 E-Tron for less.

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There's Just Something Mesmerizing About Automated EV Production

If you've ever been on a tour of an automotive factory, you know how mesmerizing it can be to see humans and robots work together to build our four-wheeled friends. The swift automation, the cleanliness, the trained hands deftly fitting pieces together and watchful eyes inspecting every piece of the car, it's all quite impressive, especially if the vehicle is one you, as an observer, are fond of. Even just seeing a fresh, gleaming badge being applied to immaculately painted sheet metal is enough

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Let math improve your MPG

The next time the hypermiler in front of you stops you from catching that next green light, take heart. One day, it won't be the driver's fault. There will be algorithms involved. But you migh still be aggravated for not making that light.

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Official price remains a mystery

Volkswagen has delivered the first XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid to a customer from Berlin, Germany. Dr. Christian Malorny received his Oryx White XL1 with black and grey interior from Volkswagen Germany's director of sales and marketing for passenger cars, Thomas Zahn, at the company's Transparent Factory in Dresden.

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Five-plus years may have been about enough time for Daimler AG to know whether it wanted to be in the battery-pack production business. The Mercedes-Benz parent may stop making electric-vehicle batteries and ultimately sell its Li-Tec battery-cell factory in Germany within two years, according to Bloomberg News which cites Manager Magazin. The beneficiary may be LG Electronics, which would likely take over battery-production duties for models such as Daimler's Smart ED battery-electric vehicle.

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Mercedes-Benz is about to give Americans another choice of battery-powered vehicle. Offering more all-electric range than the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3, and with a smaller price tag than the Tesla Model S, the B-Class Electric Drive is officially set to arrive in the US this summer. Indeed, the first examples have begun rolling off the production line in Rastatt, Germany.

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Audi is proving that the fresh water flowing through the European Alps isn't just for bottling and drinking anymore. The German automaker struck a deal with Hamburg-based LichtBlick to offer buyers of the Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron a chance to get their electrical juice from all renewable-energy sources. That means all the power going into charging stations can come from hydroelectric power from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

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Garage chargers? We don't need no stinkin' garage chargers. Germany-based Feddz is getting ready to start European sales of its electric bike, and, to do so, it's touting a removable-battery system that makes garage chargers unnecessary, if not almost quaint.

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