Automakers show off electrics at Paris show

PARIS — Global automakers are showing off new electric vehicles at the Paris auto show as they look ahead to a world of tighter environmental standards on emissions.

Volkswagen on Thursday displayed the I.D, a battery-powered compact it says will sell for about what a fully equipped Golf diesel does when a production version eventually goes on the market in 2020.

Mercedes was unveiling a new battery-powered SUV, in part a response to the buzz over electric upstart Tesla.

Executives stressed that internal combustion engines weren't going anywhere, including diesel. That technology has been under pressure in the wake of Volkswagen's scandal over cars rigged to chat on emissions tests.

The first thing one saw on entering the pavilion housing Volkswagen's wares was a big, sleek, sky blue Porsche Panamera, a high-performance sedan — that's diesel powered. Porsche is one of Volkswagen's brands and was also showing off a hybrid version of the Panamera. Sports car makers like the powerful acceleration that can be had from electric motors.

Still, most people don't buy electrics because they're more expensive, and because of limited range and places to recharge away from home. Diesel puts out more pollutants but is cheaper to operate and remains very popular in Europe.

Automakers are coming up with new electrics to help them meet tougher requirements for fleet average emissions and mileage. Low- or zero-emissions vehicles are especially in focus after Volkswagen was caught rigging cars to cheat on diesel emissions tests. The company has apologized and agreed on a $15 billion civil settlement with U.S. environmental authorities, state governments and consumers.

The show in Paris took place under particularly tight security, with guards performing added bag checks at pavilion entrances

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