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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that Germany and its auto industry must substantially invest in electric cars to ensure that the country is not left behind by the shift to electric vehicles,  Reuters reports. 

Merkel was speaking at Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler's (DDAIF) new battery factory. 

"We need long-term horizons and companies that invest in the future," Merkel said. "It is important that electric mobility is ready for the market as quickly as possible."

While Germany's automakers are increasing production of electric cars, most batteries they use are made in Asia, provoking fears that Germany could lose its leadership in the core car technology of the future.

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Merkel came under fire this month when she said Germany was likely to miss the government's target of bringing 1 million electric cars onto the roads by the end of the decade.

"This should be a lesson for technology policy. We don't want to experience that again," she said.

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