Electric vehicles star at Munich auto show

The world's leading automakers have gathered in Germany to show off the latest in the new era of electric vehicles. European producers have been seen as lagging behind, and they are trying to fend off growing competition from China.

The International Motor Show Germany, held every two years, opened on Tuesday in Munich. It is considered one of the industry's highest-profile events.

Automakers this year are focused on cars that are cleaner for the environment. They want to be ready for the European Union's ban on new vehicles that emit carbon dioxide by 2035.

The chief of BMW Group Design, Adrian van Hooydonk, said, "I see there is much more competition now than ever before. So, I think the next five years will be very exciting, it will be tough."

America's pioneering electric-car company, Tesla, returned to the event after a long absence.

And Chinese producers are eager to expand their presence. Seventy-five automakers and suppliers are at the show, which is more than double the number from the last event two years ago.

Leapmotor CEO Zhu Jiangming said, "Chinese EVs have a big advantage in technologies of autonomous driving and smart cockpits -- and the supply chain backing them."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the show on Tuesday. He said his country's automakers welcome all the challengers.

Scholz said, "There is absolutely no question about the international competitiveness of Germany as a car country."

Scholz plans to expand charging stations for electric vehicles across Germany. He said the push will make so-called "range anxiety" a thing of past for EV drivers.