Late to the party, German carmakers join race against Tesla

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After years watching Tesla’s electric cars speed ahead while they have been on the defensive over an industry-wide diesel emissions scandal, German high-end manufacturers have finally unveiled their first challengers to the Californian upstart.

Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen’s Audi and Porsche subsidiaries between them control some 80 percent of the worldwide premium car market.

But until recently they offered little battery-powered, zero-emission competition to Tesla and its bombastic chief executive Elon Musk.

That changed this month, with all three groups unveiling their first all-electric SUVs slated for release over the next two years.

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